By Evan Vitale
I’ve been writing several blogs about business startups and, recently, one of my followers in Twitter wrote to me asking for a better explanation of a business startup and how he could begin to form a startup.
Most think a startup is a boot-strapping, grass-roots technical, or medical device firm developing a brilliant idea in a warehouse in San Francisco.
According to Forbes.com, Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker says “a startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says a startup is “the act or an instance of setting in operation or motion” or “a fledgling business enterprise,” while the American Heritage Dictionary says a startup is “a business or undertaking that has recently begun operation.”
In order for your company to be considered a startup, you must have set up shop recently. Some say a startup company can still be considered a startup during its fifth year; others say you are no longer a startup business at the end of your third year.
A business that is a “startup” doesn’t mean the firm is living on the edge. It means the new company has the ability to grow and increase revenues. It can scale very quickly. A florist with one location in one town is not considered a startup. Neither is a franchise.
Therefore, there is technically a big difference between starting a business and a startup business. Investor and angel entrepreneur Paul Graham once said the difference between a small business and a startup business is like the difference between Google and a barbershop. Growth and financial investments for a startup is much more different than that of a small business.
The definition of a startup isn’t mean to downplay or claim that starting a business isn’t important. Instead, it’s only used to measure and definite the differences.