[Ads-l] unicorn, dead unicorn

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 26 11:47:30 UTC 2015

A post about unicorns and dead unicorns appeared on the ADS list ten
days ago. Now, Ben has a new Wall Street Journal article on the topic:

[Begin excerpt]
How "unicorn" became a less-than-magical label for billion-dollar
startups. My latest for the +Wall Street Journal:

[End excerpt]

This appears to be an episode of synchronicity. However, if the ADS
post did help in the selection of a topic then I am very glad that it
proved useful.

Below is another WSJ link that may be paywalled:

Title: How 'Unicorns' Became Silicon Valley Companies
Sub-title: The term unicorn used to refer to magical beasts. How did
it come to describe a herd of young Silicon Valley companies?
Author: Ben Zimmer
Date: March 20, 2015



On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 2:37 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Website: Fortune
> Article title: Bill Gurley predicts 'dead unicorns' in startup-land this year
> Article author: Erin Griffith
> Date: March 15, 2015
> http://fortune.com/2015/03/15/bill-gurley-predicts-dead-unicorns-in-startup-land-this-year/
> [Begin excerpt]
> "There is no fear in Silicon Valley right now," he said. "A complete
> absence of fear." He added that more people are employed by
> money-losing companies in Silicon Valley than ever before.
> Will there be a crash? "I do think you'll see some dead unicorns this
> year," he said, using the term used to describe startups with
> valuations higher than $1 billion. (For more on startup unicorns and
> Bill Gurley, see Fortune's February 2015 cover story, "The Age of
> Unicorns.")
> [End excerpt]
> Word Spy: unicorn
> http://www.wordspy.com/index.php?word=unicorn
> [Begin excerpt]
> 2013 (earliest)
> We found 39 companies belong to what we call the "Unicorn Club" (by
> our definition, U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and
> valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors). ...
> On average, four unicorns were born per year in the past decade, with
> Facebook being the breakout "super-unicorn" (worth >$100 billion).
> --Aileen Lee, "Welcome to the Unicorn Club: Learning From
> Billion-Dollar Startups," TechCrunch, November 2, 2013
> [End excerpt]
> Garson

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