Entrepreneurship · Startups

How would you define a startup?

Svyatoslav Dormidontov Web-developer

September 28th, 2016

I keep getting confused when explaining to some friends and family members what I am currently doing with my life. Which definition is the most appropriate?

Michael Leeds CEO & Founder

September 28th, 2016

If you can answer the "why?" from this video, you will have your answer @ https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

September 28th, 2016

Is the question how do you define *A* startup, or how do I define *MY* startup? If it is the former, I like Steve Blank's definition:

A startup is a temporary organization used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.

I like this definition because it makes clear the intent of a startup is to uncover and validate a business model - then transition into the business that will run that model.

Michael Hartzell Entrepreneur, Addicted to "Yes" - When Everyone Wins

September 28th, 2016

There's an app for that!

Check it out here:


One of the questions is related to yours.

At the end of the test, you can ask for the answers. And all will be revealed. 

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

September 28th, 2016

Watch the Denzel Washington scene from Philadelphia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR6eXWNJzoY

This is F & F, not a VC.  Elevator pitches make F & F crazy - and should. This is your emotional support group, not an investor that screens thousands of plans to get to a few they listen to to invest in even fewer. This is the group that will nod and shrug when you miss another soccer game, family dinner, public event, but still, without qualification, love you. This is the group that, almost as important as financial investors, you need support from to rationalize why you are upending your life to follow a vision that could make a difference. And they not only do not get why you do it, they do not get what you do.  

I would pick one thing about the world that you will change is successful.  Build on that to tell them why (if they actually ask) why you want to do it. For example, I am building a plan to make water safer, cleaner, and better while saving energy and time. If someone then wants to understand that, then we can talk about it.  The bad news is most F & F do not/cannot understand what you do. They are asking a different question: "Are you OK?". 

What is great about these conversations is that simplifying the story for them simplifies it for you - and anyone you meet in the business world.  We are all tired of buzz-word-bingo - and straight shooters are more valuable than smoke and mirrors. 

That is just my opinion.  I could be wrong. 

Simon Bain CEO SearchYourCloud Inc.

September 28th, 2016

You need a 30 second elevator pitch. Without this you will find it hard not just with friends and family but also customers and prospective employees. The pitch MUST describe what you do and Why you do it, Keep it short, none technical and in very simple terms. NO LONGER than 30 seconds. There you go, this could be the hardest thing you need to do with your startup. Simon

David M

September 28th, 2016

Elevator pitch is great.  If you are asking for the definition, here is one below. search others online.  Have mercy though, don't start asking people in these forums what a start up is or you will get a plethora of answers, some accurate, some philosophical, some completely inaccurate. Some will even create new definitions to their own liking!  Keep it simple :)  You can always tell them you are working on a plan to rule the world as well! J/k  Either way you are going to get some blank stares at times.  

Also add in that you really believe you can do something great with your business.  And don't let anyone discourage you.


Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

September 28th, 2016

By the way - for your investors, Michael Leeds is spot on.  Not only watch Sinek, read his book.