Issue 55

What is the definition of a startup?

Cristina Juc
Organiser @ Startup Weekend Cluj


Startups are changing the world we live in. This was clearly the message of last year’s tech media, both the Romanian and the international one. But do we know what these so-called startups we hear about every single day really are?

Although there are lots of definitions for a startup, some of them very technical, others rather bohemian, there isn’t one that’s unanimously accepted. About 2 years ago, Alex Wilhelm made up a ”"50, 100, 500".” rule. In his vision, you can think of a company as a startup if it:

It does sound a little simplistic and pretty far away from the truth we have in Romania, at least. Another oversimplified definition, which people are just throwing around here is: a startup is a company that is no older than 5 years and has under 10 employees (some sources say 2 years).

Then the question that arises is: what about innovation? The novelty? If we were to only take into account the data from above, there is no way to make a distinction between a coffee shop and a startup. Now, there is another definition, which integrates lesser technical aspects: a startup is a company that noticed a problem and came up with a creative and new solution for it. You can also include here better solutions to already-”solved” problems.

Probably one of the most known and accepted definition is the one that Steve Blanck came up with:

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

Because the problem and the solution to it are experimental, it is hard to make assumptions about the business viability and scalability. You could definitely say a startup is an experiment, or in other words, it is a first step, an intermediate phase between a simple idea and an early-stage business.

The long and comprehensive definition would be then:

”A startup is a temporary organization used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model, which answers an unsolved (or poorly solved) problem, and that can be considered the first step from an idea to an early-stage business.”

It’s absolutely amazing how startups are continuously shaping and improving the world and the technology. The thing is we cannot actually give credit for all of this, to a legal entity, not even to an idea, no matter how innovative it might have been. The real ”power” behind evolution are the people themselves. It is all due to the creative, curious and confident people, who don’t see the problems, but the opportunities, who generate ideas and have the passion to actually pursue their dreams and turn them into reality.

And it’s also you. You are one of the people who is changing the world, every single day. If you want to share your knowledge and experience with others, in a comfortable environment, alongside successful entrepreneurs, who will share their own experiences with you, please join this year’s edition of Startup Weekend Cluj. Take the first step towards entrepreneurship, get your Early Bird Ticket until February 17.

Want to meet us, or to find out more about Startup Weekend Cluj? Leave us a message at cluj@startupweekend.org, or on [Facebook/SWCluj].




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