I enjoyed this post over at Always On from Ezra Roizen – nice analogy:
The startup game is often one of aerodynamics and drag. The number of factors working against a new company is almost infinite, and most companies are unable to ever really achieve lift-off. Beating “startup drag” takes nearly perfect aerodynamics: a beautifully designed product, brilliant marketing, financial acumen, the whole shebang—all in concert and accompanied by great timing (and a bit of luck). It’s tough to think of a substantial Internet company that didn’t have a pretty sleek and aerodynamic concept at the start. Google (search), eBay (online markets) and Amazon (online shopping) were all elegantly designed and implemented.
To get the aerodynamics right, almost all startups require a combination of time, money, and experience. Normally, getting off the ground takes an excess of at least one of those ingredients. Investment capital for rapid expansion can be a surrogate for time spent slowly building a business through operations—just as experience can be a surrogate for money, allowing the company to skip wasteful steps on the learning curve, and so on.