For the past decade or so VC funding in startups and scaleups has been increasing dramatically in value and even average number of rounds per company, creating many highly-valued but still unprofitable unicorns along the way. Now that macro-economic growth is slowing, the model of extended VC funding to help companies build their consumer businesses seems to be heading for a reckoning, with hundreds of non-unicorns likely to experience serious difficulties.
Every CEO and management team of an up and coming company needs to figure out a way of punching above their weight in order to avoid being squashed by much larger competitors once these turn their attention on them. Slack, a team messaging and collaboration tool already successful with smaller businesses, is facing just such a challenge this year, as it launches its new enterprise offering. Does the company stand a chance of succeeding among enterprise customers in the face of growing competition from giants like Microsoft, and even Google and Facebook? If so, how?