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The Myth of the Consumer-Enterprise Hybrid

Evernote, Square, Dropbox: all billion-dollar companies whose days as fast-growing tech darlings are over. While they’re taking in tens of millions or more in revenues, none has yet proven it can be profitable over the long-term. 

And they’re wobbling. Phil Libin of Evernote told Amir this week that he’s searching for his replacement, while Dropbox recently lost the head of Dropbox for Business (and missed hiring Google’s Neal Mohan by a hair). Square has continued to shuffle executives around and streamline its products. And it is sharing its CEO, as we all know. 

Something else they have in common: All three have been trying to straddle the consumer and enterprise sectors. Evernote and Dropbox sell pricier versions of their consumer product to businesses. And Square has been trying to expand beyond small business payments to consumer food delivery (Caviar), peer-to-peer (Square Cash) and more. Coincidence? Probably not.

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But in the cutthroat world of business, founders should focus on a comparative advantage, even if it is less likely to make him a household name or get her on the cover of Wired.

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