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Songkick: First UK company invested by Sequoia

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Why is this important? Well, first Songkick is an all-too-rare example of UK entrepreneurs leading the disruption of a sector – in this case, ticket bookings for music gigs. We’ve been tracking Ian Hogarth and colleagues for a couple of years now; expect this business to become the poster boy for a new generation of UK entrepreneurs.

Second, and less positively, Songkick CEO Ian Hogarth has been pretty critical of the UK venture capital scene for a while now, bemoaning its lack of vision and infrastructure. Hence he’s been spending most of his time on the west coast for a couple of years.

Third, Sequoia really is one of the uberlords of US technology investors. Its prescriptions for potential investees about how best to attract Sequoia’s interest should be – indeed often are – required reading for any aspiring entrepreneur. 

Here are some, but it’s worth checking out the whole list:

Large markets

Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1bn potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.

Rich customers

Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.

Focus

Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.

Pain killers

Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.

Think differently

Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.

Team DNA

A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. “A” level founders attract an “A” level team.

Frugality

Focus spending on what’s critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.

Inferno

Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers

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