Companies featured in this study:
Too many startups pivot too early, quit too soon, and expect rapid takeoff. So I dove deep into the details of successful startups to find out what really worked to achieve classic ‘hockey stick’ revenue take-off. Were there patterns and strategies that could be repeated?
The companies in the study are different sizes and from a wide range of industries, yet their revenue growth follows a predictable pattern. In this study of 172 startups, all but eleven companies had hockey stick-shaped growth curves. Read more about this fascinating study in my blog post.
In our study, we wanted to look across all industries, not just young tech startups. We researched companies from all industries.
The companies we researched weren't just fledgling startups, they experienced real momenutus revenue targets.
We only included companies that were innovative in some way - meaning they created a new product, service, or a new business model.
The Hockey Stick Research Study is a quantitative analysis of 172 successful start-ups of all types. Below are just a few of the insights the study provides such as…
Prior to year three, startups founded by industry insiders perform slightly better, but by year seven, the tables are turned and startups founded by insiders have average revenue of $14.9 million versus $31.4 million by outsiders.
Across the 172 businesses, median startup revenue is $0 year one and rises to nearly $3 million per year by year four.
Firms that raised more than $100,000 to start recorded revenues during their seventh year of $37 million versus only $18.7 million for firms that raised less than $100,000.
During the first two years, even startups that became huge companies (revenues $100 million+) recorded similar revenue as opposed to startups that grew smaller (revenues less than $100 million).
Nearly every thriving business began as a fledgling startup, but when looking at their growth charts, there is a common denominator: the track of their year-over-year profits had the shape of a hockey stick.