Startup Is Not All That Hype

There is a widespread belief, that startups today are hype! Well, actually, they are not! Usually, they are dirty, crowded with “child diseases” and create a large amount of stress to its originators!

Startup Is Not All That Hype

A Startup by Example

A newly founded business, aiming to prove a new model of operation, usually starts very simply. It comprises of a basic idea and its originator, possibly a friend or two of the originator, one or two PC, an internet connection (or more), minimal infrastructure (routers, active network elements, telephone lines, etc), a building in the far side of the city (or in the early day, in the garage of someone you maybe know), a whiteboard and a lot of passion of proving the whole world wrong!

But that is not all! It also needs long hours in meetings, in brainstorming sessions, in communication with many agents, constant training for all participants, establishment of common ground procedures for “doing things“, endless hours of on-the-job trial-and-error scenarios (coding, designing,tweaking, optimizing, etc.) and, perhaps, the aid and support by a seed accelerator, or a business incubator as the assistance of many secondary support services (logistics, management, recruiting, accounting, financials, billing, customer relationships, etc.)

All the above can be done in-house off course, but the nature of a startup and the small number of its members, usually preclude the assignment of too many roles by the same people!

As a startup classically is defined as:

a business in the form of a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets. The term became popular internationally during the dot-com bubble when a great number of dot-com companies were founded.(Wikipedia: Startup Company)

But that is an understatement! Because there are many successful startup companies, today and many business models have emerged from the “primordial mud” of the internet!

It is not something surprising! If you accept the notion that 10.000 monkeys, given a sufficient time can produce the masterpieces of Shakespeare, you should accept that from one thousand launches some may be successful ones!

Is it Random?

So, it is an act of random choice, or there are more mechanisms at play here!

A startup, to have any chance to rise “above the circumstances” needs some basic elements:

  1. Core elements, appealing to a market’s need, along with a specialized meaning providing content and context to the specific product|solution, etc.
  2. Fundamental Good Design (both from a solution or product perspective, from an engineering point of view or even by its user experience elements)
  3. Differentiation factors (able to diversify and identify the solution uniquely among many other similar solutions)
  4. A message, strictly attached to that solution, product, etc.
  5. Cost-effectiveness
  6. A “packaged” which wrapped up all the collateral elements
  7. A story to launch its inaugurations (even if it is a flimsy one)
  8. An excellent servicing to its intended audience (including customer support, etc.)
  9. Value for everyone who uses it
  10. Something that anyone can uniquely identify as expressive to his /her character, genius, work, lifestyle, etc. (no is not everything marketing, something only!)
  11. User-centric focus

Startup is not all that Hype

All the above (11 in the number and counting …) should interact, battle and filtered in the mind of the prime mover of a startup company (its originator, usually, but not necessarily) after many meetings without object, thousand coffee session, million notes and post-its, late-night congregations and other venues, I’m reluctant to mention, at the moment!

To start a startup you need money (endless meetings with possible angel investors), resources, equipment, people to believe to your idea and assist you to make it real, more ideas, hardware, infrastructure, project management structures, vision, strategy, social media strategy, communication channels, networking, and many, many more!

Is not easy! Is not easy, even to lift off the ground (to make it survive the first 3 weeks) but it is worth it! And if the idea is good, if you have the passion if it compatible with the numerous criteria that may comprise a good startup company may it have a change for “lift-off“.

What do you think?

    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.