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Salim Ismail: My "10-Step Mechanism" for Creating a Unicorn

Updated: Mar 8

Salim Ismail for Medium’s Backchannel has a great article out entitled “The Secrets of Unicorn Companies." Ismail asserts that we should be asking ourselves not whether we are in another bubble but what are the keys to creating startups that scale so rapidly? Ismail has come up with a calculus to quantify the “core scalability” of a company and he uses that methodology to conclude that the top ten "Unicorn-like" companies are as follows: 1. GitHub, 2. Airbnb, 3. Uber, 4. Indiegogo, 5. Google, 6. Pinterest, 7. Kaggle, 8. Tumblr, 9. Quirky, and 10. Shapeways. An impressive list for sure. Most interesting from my perspective is that Ismail provides a “10-step mechanism” for building a highly scalable company. Check out Salim's article here: (


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