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Quora Advocates Larry Chiang’s Mentor’s Engineering 145 Concept of “Sequel Businesses”

by Larry Chiang on June 13, 2012

By Larry Chiang

Pay attention to what got deleted in regards to ‘sequel businesses’. This was first posted in Quora quoted here:

The excerpt, now DELETED, accurately summarizes the concept of sequel businesses. The quora post was written by a non-engineering student undergrad who does not believe in engineering pattern recognition, pattern replication and pattern iteration. He says of my teaching sequel business, engineering concept:

“the parasite of Silicon Valley who vicariously brands himself, piggybacking off people and institutions of real success. One prime example: He once clearly recommended our class to build businesses off of existing businesses and replicate names similar to existing brands. I don’t remember what term he made up for that approach”

It is called “sequel business” and I accept responsibility for not teaching it super well to that particular student. Here is my attempt to take another crack at teaching this via the Quora boards:

– Star Wars (George Lucas has clips from film school leading up to his genius back-to-back trilogy sequels)

– Federal Express (it isn’t as federal like the post office but sounded better than “Fred Smith’s Air and Prayer Shipping Service”)

– WP Engine. Nothing related to Matt Mullenweg’s company wordpress

– Duck9 is a sequel to IMG. Deep Underground Credit Knowledge 9 is a company, business description and name just like International Management Group.

– is obviously a sequel to Oracle. Marc Benioff, CEO / founder SalesForce, took investment money from Larry Ellison CEO Oracle

– Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social is a sequel to Marc Benioff’s company: SalesForce. Marc invested in Clara Shih too.

– SpaceX is a sequel to NASA

– Tesla is a sequel business to Lotus and a sequel to AC Propulsion (the roadster used both companies products)

It is not just companies… It is also creative projects.

– Mickey Mouse used to be Steamboat Willie, a male senior citizen comic that smelled bad.

– Snow White and the Huntsman (It is not a Disney cartoon… a Universal Studios live action film )

– “Wicked” the Broadway Musical is the sequel pre-quel sequel to Wizard of Oz

It also applies to statistics

– MMPPI is a sequel stat to OBP. MMPPI = ‘mentor mentions per press interview.’ OBP = On Base Percentage.

Sequel-izing also applies to Countries. The Constitution of the United States of America is a sequel document

Think the phrase “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness ” was written by Thomas Jefferson?! Nope. John Locke. John Locke wrote it 100 yrs before Thomas Jefferson copy pasted “Life Liberty Pursuit of Property”

I specifically teach engineers to latch on to “Sequel Businesses” so that all y’all can – pattern recognize – pattern replicate – pattern iterate.

To summarize my failed attempt to teach this during class. – piggybacking is critical because work done in a vacuum does not leverage the previous work already done – original work appears original later.

It starts off as 80% replication. 20% original.

– Set the bell curve for entrepreneurship and pattern replicate.

Oh, btw…”Pursuit of Happyness” was ripped by Will Smith and Chris Gardner.

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