When you hear the word startup, what is it that springs to mind? Wikipedia defines a startup as a business in search of a repeatable and scalable business model. But, for many of us, the term conjures certain associations: Venture capital. Funding. Technology. Silicon Valley. The Golden IPO. Maybe even Mark Zuckerberg.
I have launched businesses of my own, companies that, at first would have fit Wikipedia’s definition of a startup. And yet, none of the above associations really had much to do with me. I have no problem with this increasingly accepted startup model, but hyper-growth, technological breakthroughs, and the eventual IPO were never on my radar. I simply wanted to work autonomously and to call the shots at my own small company.
So, if more and more, a startup is about technology, funding, hyper-growth, and the eventual IPO, then what do the rest of us call ourselves? What about new companies with traditional products, or perhaps with more traditional goals? Companies with great ideas, vision, and ambitions, but perhaps different ambitions than those that characterize the typical startup?
What about the new food truck selling just cupcakes, the contractor who decides to hire a second crew—or even the Shamwow?
It seems as though startup culture has exploded, but it has focused on only one segment of new businesses. How do the rest of us foster our culture when we don’t even have a name that captures our unique identity?
I almost feel like I’m living in a separate world—that you have startups on the one hand, and then the “new business” community on the other. I’ve got nothing but respect for those who dwell in the former, but I myself happen to live in the latter.
I’m happy to concede the title of startup. I’m not sure what you want to call entrepreneurial enterprises like my own; I just know that the term startup feels less and less appropriate.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Don’t Call it a Startup
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