How do you define a startup?

The confession about startup failure rate got me wondering how everyone here defines a startup.  I think PGs defining quality that “a startup is a company designed to grow fast” is valid.  But when does a hobby, side-project, or even full-time project become a startup?  I work nights on building an MVP, but it hasn’t launched yet and I don’t consider it a startup.  Can something without revenue be a startup?  Without users?

  • A start up company is something that starts from new. After that you can define it as you wish. If it is a tech start up it involves some form of technology.

    Then you have a business. A business is something that has more going into the bank account than going out of the bank account.

    It is all simple stuff. If you are in your bedroom in stealth then it’s an idea / hyphopesis.

    If you are changing the world you are Elon Musk. If you are an arsehole you are wearing flip flops and hoodie launch an iPhone app supported by ads (joke*) 😉

    • OP here:

      Is/was Clinkle a startup? As far as I can tell, the only difference between me in my bedroom and them in their offices is they’ve spent a ton of money to get no users, no product, and no revenue while I’ve done it for almost nothing :). As I said, I don’t consider what I do a startup at this point, I’m just not sure why something like Clinkle with no product, no users, and no revenue is.

        • everyone here has heard of them. just no one in the real world because they didn’t do shit. People hate them because on principle it is totally fucking annoying to see VCs through millions of dollars at young Stanford dropouts who have no product, no experience, and shouldn’t be funded.

  • I define a startup as an early stage company (MVP/part-time/full-time) with a technology component.

    If you’re starting a chocolate line I think you’re a a new/small business but not a startup. If you’re starting a chocolate line with microbial something or other that do something then it’s a startup.

    Revenue has nothing to do with it and time has nothing to do with it either.

  • A startup is a TEAM with a PRODUCT which can be used by many USERS who are willing to PAY for the product. Even after doing a lot of thinking, I still couldn’t find out how a ‘startup’ is different from a ‘rock band’.

  • I like Steve Blank’s definition – a startup is an organization seeking a good business model.

    You in your bedroom may or may not be an organization. Me in my bedroom is right now, because I’m spending a lot of time out of that bedroom talking to people with my organization hat on and making promises in the name of the organization, some of which are promises to hire them soon.

  • Its the moment you quit the day job for it, with or without a clear path towards victory. The road you take is called Founderdom

  • It must have the potential to scale rapidly. If it doesn’t scale (local chippy round the corner) it ain’t a startup.

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