Now this is interesting.
If you’ve ever had ambitions of becoming the next Google or Microsoft, IPO Dashboards have put in some interesting research to give you a guide to how long that may actually take.
Analysing the top 100 software companies in the United States and charting their growth, their study shows the how low the chances of the “5 year dash to $50m turnover from startup” actually are, despite the adoration and ambitions of many a VC.
Dividing the companies into three types: Rocket Shop, Hot Company and Slow Burner, IPO reached some interesting conclusions:
Only 28% of the nation’s most successful public software empires were rocketships. Rocketships defined as a company that reached $50 million in annual sales in 6 years or less (this is the type of growth that typically appears in VC-funded business plans). A hot shot reaches $50m in 7 to 12 years. A slow burner takes 13 years or more. Interestingly, 50% of these companies took 9 or more years to reach $50m in revenue.
The fastest rocket ship of today’s software industry was Novell.
Novell (NASD: NOVL) was one impressive company. It took only three years to reach $50 million after it was founded in 1983. In 2008 it still pulled in almost $1 billion in revenue. You’ll recognize the names of a few of the other genuine rocket ships from various decades: Adobe, Autodesk, Electronic Arts, Interwoven, McAfee, Salesforce, Sybase, Synopsys, and Verisign.
Microsoft and Oracle weren’t rocket ships.
Microsoft took 8 years to reach $50 million in sales; Oracle took 10.”