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Growth Guys | All about startups as the new big business

When you look at the business space even as recently as twenty years ago, a lot of the businesses that existed in the world were of the traditional model of trade. What we mean by this is that the traditional structure of raising capital or using investors to work from a standard office space was the norm. Fastforward to today, and the business culture is populated by start ups working from Virtual Offices and enjoying great success in the business space. Cofounder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal defines the startup as “A company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed.” We think that startups are really exciting because of the great culture that can be found in them. Startup businesses usually have a remote team all connected by a messenger service like Slack and using time tracking tools like Asana for productivity. You’ll find the workers of a startup working from all around the world, and business owners are using virtual offices for important meetings and as a central business address. The startup can afford to be flexible, adaptive and agile - and indeed, today’s business world demands this kind of agility.

A startup can also be defined as a company where people work together to make an immediate change or impact on a large scale for a problem that exists in the world. Companies like Snapchat could be defined as a start up because they started out small, scaled very quickly and solved a problem in the marketplace, or added extra value. We’re not sure if the dogface filter on Snapchat is actually solving the critical problems of the world but it’s certainly popular, so who are we to complain? The cofounder and CEO of Homejoy, Adora Cheung says that “startup is a state of mind.” And in that sense, the startup is a workplace where people will often forgo the potential for a steady job in a steady environment because of the prospect of a large amount of growth very quickly. It’s an attractive prospect for people to be with a startup company from the start, which is why so many people are drawn to being part of the culture.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word startup means to “set in operation of motion,” and also “a fledgling enterprise.” So when you are working in a startup one of the key considerations is that you have to be a pretty recent venture to be considered as such. The common literature suggests that in order to be a startup you can probably have been around within the last five years, but a decade of operation probably puts you outside of the startup bracket.

To define things a little more clearly, let’s suggest that in order to be a startup you’ve been around for about three years. After that period of time you’re an established business. Other things that can relate to your startup-ness include being bought by a larger company, having more than one office space (virtual or otherwise), having revenue over $20 million and having more than 80 staff. When a startup starts to make money, guess what? It’s probably not a startup anymore.

One final thing to leave you on is that key to a startup’s success is the ability to grow and to grow quickly. The focus on growth which is unrestrained by location and geography makes a startup not a startup. If you’re global, you’re probably not a startup. Look at Uber. It started at a startup and now they’re making millions every year.

They key factors of what makes a startup? Growth, scalability, revenue, freedom for international expansion and staff. Are you looking to start your own business? What kind of startup are you going to be.
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