Full Stack Startups

<a href=”http://a16z.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/stack.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-6890″ src=”http://a16z.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/stack.jpg&#8221; alt=”Photo: Leo Reynolds” width=”625″ height=”937″ /></a> Photo: Leo Reynolds

Many of today’s most exciting startups were tried before in a different form.

Suppose you develop a new technology that is valuable to some industry. The old approach was to sell or license your technology to the existing companies in that industry. The new approach is to build a complete, end-to-end product or service that bypasses existing companies.

Prominent examples of this “full stack” approach include Tesla, Warby Parker, Uber, Harry’s, Nest, Buzzfeed, and Netflix. Most of these companies had “partial stack” antecedents that either failed or ended up being relatively small businesses. MORE