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Why these 8 Unicorns Became So Successful

23 October 2017 / by Andrew C. Whittaker

There is a reason why unicorns are more successful than everyone else in their respective industries; and other startups can definitely learn from these reasons. Each unicorn’s reason for success in business is different, and that’s why we seek to look at 8 different reasons why several companies like Uber, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Spotify are extremely successful.


1. Uber

The main reason why Uber is so successful is because of their disruptive technology. They stormed the taxi market which had poor quality and expensive monopolistic services for decades and introduced the use of mobile apps, GPS, accurate credit card payment systems (no rip off), and other technologies that gave them an unbeatable edge in the industry.

2. Airbnb

Airbnb’s success can be attributed to guaranteeing trustworthy, easy to use, and affordable rental services for travelers. The unicorn realized the potential of creating a trustworthy marketplace where travelers could find spaces to rent from verified individuals/homeowners.

3. DropBox

Dropbox is hugely successful as a unicorn because of branding and its simplicity in use as a software. Its ability to execute cloud storage seamlessly is its billion-dollar proposition. The unicorn concentrated in delivering cloud computing solutions in the form of SaaS (Software as a Service), and they did it in the most simple way that hugely appealed to many users.

4. Slack

Slack’s major reason for such huge success as a startup is because of its support-base in terms of exposure to world-class resources. The fact that it was founded by an already famous founder (founder of Flickr), Slack had the access to superstar investors, access to Silicon Valley’s resources, and a kick-ass team to bring a viable idea into business.

5. Salesforce

Salesforce succeeded by focusing on a larger market (CRM) that the incumbent leader (Siebel) had many unhappy customers. They started by targeting small businesses with simple pricing and low-risk implementations instead of going after big companies using Siebel then. They then build an exceptional sales and marketing machine by investing heavy and making their product a “platform” in order to allow for customization by customers and third parties.

6. Spotify

Spotify managed to become a unicorn business by majorly providing un-sophisticated functionality in its service. It’s simplicity in use, viral marketing tactics, and ability to deliver exactly what customers wanted (being able to listen to almost any music out there without hassles and complications) made it a darling to many users hence its success.

7. WeWork

WeWork as a business succeeded by offering an attractive service that caught the attention of investors; and they also happened to be in the right place at the right time.

8. Stripe

Again, this is another unicorn that became successful by tackling customer problems in a different manner than its incumbents. It established leadership in its industry by removing many pain points experienced in accepting payments by legacy companies like and PayPal.

These are some of the reasons why some of the world’s top unicorns became successful. As an entrepreneur, you can definitely learn a thing or two from this. 

Which are some of your favourite unicorn stories? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 


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Topics: B2B, Unicorns, Business, Successful

Andrew C. Whittaker

Written by Andrew C. Whittaker

I am a sales professional, focused on sales and marketing driven growth. I co-founded Accordium with this in mind, but especially to help sales people become more successful. If you need help applying sales-driven growth principles in your company or would like me to speak at your event, please contact me. Also, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter or Accordium on Facebook.