Here's the seven traits:
- Create and sustain a breakthrough value proposition. Three ways: create an entirely new market for their products and services, redefine an existing market, or underpricing the competition.
- Exploit a high-growth market.
- Focus relentlessly on cash flow. Blueprint companies tend to be profitable from a very early stage. As a result they are able to finance their own growth at less cost than competitors.
- Leverage big-brother alliances. In their early days, most Blueprint companies found a major corporate partner whose high profile and reputation opened doors to new markets.
- Pack your board with industry experts. Stack you board with successful CEOs and market experts who offer deep experience and help bring in business.
- Use marquee customers to build credibility. The best customers become an extension of your sales force.
- Build an inside-outside leadership team. Dynamic duos are the stuff of corporate legend: In most such partnerships, one leader concentrates on internal operations while the other leader represents the company for clients and investors.