Surfer Model of Venture Growth

Stanford University
Course Lectures
  • Team Composition
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Kathy Eisenhardt, co-director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program and professor in Management Science and Engineering, discusses the size and composition of successful teams. She recommends a team of 3-5 cross-functional people with diverse age group and experience.

  • Market Selection
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt discusses the ideal markets for start-ups. She classifies them into emergent, growth and mature. Emergent markets are typically small and undefined, growth markets are between $30M-$50M with a high growth rate and mature markets are > $100M. She suggests that the ideal market for a company to start in is a growth market.

  • Surfer Model of Venture Growth
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt explains her findings about teams and markets using the Surfer Model of Venture Growth. In her research, she found that there is great synergy between great teams and great markets. The returns obtained by this pair dwarf any other combination.

  • The Art of Fundraising (Part 1)
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt describes the key elements associated with successful fundraising. She discusses the importance of asking for the correct amount of money at the right time from the appropriate people.

  • The Art of Fundraising (Part 2)
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt stresses the importance of researching regional VCs and understanding the true motives behind their interests.

  • Closing the Deal
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt discusses how to negotiate with an investor and the importance of closing a deal. She stresses the need for having a credible alternative, which can be leveraged to speed up the process.

  • Creating Opportunities
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt believes that markets are not chosen but created. She describes how this was successfully done at Amazon, eBay and Verisign. She explains that to be wildly successful it is important to become the cognitive referent to the market.

  • Protecting Your Market
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt shares several strategies that a small company can use to protect their market. This includes marketing alliances, getting funded by larger competitors, and buying out smaller competitors.

  • Edge of Chaos
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt shares her work on managing at the edge of chaos. She defines the edge of chaos as the perfect balance between being too structured and not having enough structure. In particular, she compares optimal strategies for the highly regulated and structured biotech market and the ambiguous mobile gaming market.

  • Balance of Structure and Ambiguity
    Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

    Eisenhardt provides an example of where structure and ambiguity live in harmony at Yahoo.