Oct 27 2011 by Brad

Horowitz: Lead Bullets

The VC post of the day is from Ben Horowitz (A16Z) and is titled Lead Bullets. Ben tells a story from his time at Netscape when he discovered Microsoft’s IIS was about to ship, was 5x faster than the Netscape Server product, and was free. He went searching for a bunch of silver bullets to solve the competitive issue (e.g. different market segment, acquire someone, scale back and re-segment the product). Ultimately, the solution was simply to use lead bullets – make the Netscape Server product better than the IIS product. Sure – they still addressed the other things but if they hadn’t taken on the product issues and made a superior product, the rest probably wouldn’t have mattered much.

Ben ends with a strong call to action for any entrepreneur:

There comes a time in every company’s life where it must fight for its life. If you find yourself running when you should be fighting, you need to ask yourself: “If our company isn’t good enough to win, then do we need to exist at all?”