So, how does one define and identify this “one thing”? What exactly is a feature? A product? And, what do investors consider to be businesses?
A matter of perspective
Here’s the secret: investors themselves often struggle to delineate the difference among these identities. Wasn’t Twitter just the status bar feature on Facebook? Facebook Places launched in 2010, a year after Foursquare. Did Foursquare then qualify as a feature?
Bill Gurley from Benchmark Capital drew criticism after claiming Dropbox to be a “major disruption” because the team “had taken a hard problem – file synchronization — and made it brain dead simple” as disbelievers fell into the Steve Jobs camp that file sync is a feature, not a product. Rory O’Driscoll from Scale Venture Partners came to Gurley’s defense, stating that the feature label should be taken as a compliment. “To get any traction in software today you have to start with a feature — an atomic unit of delight. You have to solve one problem superbly.” Dropbox is currently valued at over $4 billion.