What are the seven deadly sins, and why do VCs mention them all the time?

QUESTION:

I keep hearing about the seven deadly sins.  What are these and why do VCs mention them all the time?

ANSWER:

Naomi Kokubo

Naomi Kokubo

by Naomi Kokubo, Cofounder of Founders Space

Silicon Valley is filled with buzz words and catch phrases, and the “seven deadly sins” is one of the most popular ones in the venture community.  The idea is that any startup that addresses one or more of these biblical sins has a better chance of success in the consumer market.

Here’s my own matrix for the sins and how they correlate in a VCs mind to successful startups:

1)  Pride

YouTube will make  you a star, and everyone wants to see your Tweets, Facebook posts, and FourSquare check-ins.

2)  Sloth

Wasting time at work has never been easier…   Farmville, Mafia Wars, IM, Facebook, Tweeting, etc…

3)  Lust

Lust plays a major role in every dating, chat & adult site, plus Facebook profiles and MySpace pages.  Also, CraigsList has entire sections dedicated to lust.

4)  Envy

Who doesn’t envy the rich and famous?  Just check out Perez Hilton, TMZ and every other celebrity site.  Also, why be the first one to buy the latest gadget, except to showoff and make everyone around you envious?  Bragging rights power the early adoption of everything from consumer electronics to hip new websites.

5)  Wrath

Anger is a tough one, but Facebook is a beautiful tool when it comes to dissing people.  Nothing hurts more than a nasty post on someone’s wall.  Teenagers rejoice.  Blogs and forums are also an excellent way to let off some steam and get revenge.  That fact is there are a lot of angry people on the Web just looking for an outlet.

6)  Greed

Who doesn’t want to make some extra money selling junk on eBay or stocks on ETrade?  Affiliate programs abound, and free offers litter the Web.  Everyone wants to save money or make money.   Just think of Groupon, PriceGrabber, CraigsList, Amazon, OfferPal, etc.

7)  Gluttony

Consumers always want more, and VCs love businesses that give more of everything…   YouTube, Digg, Hulu, iTunes, Google, etc…

So you see, the seven deadly sins do translate into successful businesses in our Webbified world.  Enjoy all ye sinners!

Comments & Advice:
  1. Naomi,

    I liked your points here as I am wrapping up watching “SeVen” on cable tonight. Your 6th point around Greed – “Everyone wants to save money or make money. Just think of Groupon, PriceGrabber, CraigsList, Amazon, OfferPal, etc.” and soon we hope Cazoomi.com will make that list as our members get points for referral purchases on our platform which translate to free professional services to set up their SaaS applications.

    We think saving money is what every one of our members wants as well.

    Good post!

    ~Clint

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