Paul Graham's Startup Curve – Too True To Be Funny

Mar. 16, 2012 1:21 AM ET4 Comments
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Long-Term Horizon, Alternative Energy

Contributor Since 2008

I'm a lawyer and accountant who's devoted the last four decades to advising entrepreneurs on corporate finance, SEC registration and reporting, and corporate governance matters. All of my client projects have involved high levels of uncertainty, compressed timelines, and urgent financial needs that demanded unparalleled responsiveness. I know how to get major projects completed on time and within budget.

I'm a 1979 graduate of the Notre Dame Law School and a 1976 graduate of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. I was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1980 and subsequently licensed to practice as a CPA in 1981. While I don't hold myself out as a practicing accountant, I regularly use my in-depth knowledge of accounting methods, processes, and procedures to offer nuts and bolts counsel to clients who need integrated advice on finance-driven legal matters.

As general counsel for the C Change Group, I'm involved in all of that company's domestic and international initiatives.

The most recent SAI Chart of the Day, Paul Graham's Startup Curve, was far too accurate to be funny. It shows his view of the process startup companies must go through on their way to becoming viable business enterprises. While I've used the Gartner Group's Hype Cycle graph to describe the process for several years, I think the Startup Curve is even closer to the truth. So without further adieu here it is:

The good news for investors is that I think many companies in the energy storage sector are somewhere in the Wiggles of False Hope and appoaching The Promised Land. The bad news is the Wiggles of False Hope can last longer than many investors imagine. That makes attention to detail and recognition of progress essential character traits for elephant hunters. The process takes time and can't be rushed, but once the major technical risks are past, the payoff for long-suffering patience can be enormous.

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