Tag Archives: startups
This analogy is about soccer. The value of a good analogy can be to find fresh perspectives and see things we're used to looking at in a whole new light. Since the news here is still awash with Manchester City's victory I thought it was ripe for a good analogy. Most professional sports could be seen as a microcosm of the wider business world, but for this case we'll concentrate on football.
Manchester City won their first Premiership title in 44 years. 'It's amazing what you can do with just over £1billion', say the more cynically minded. But you can't escape the obvious, for any company resources can make the difference. These clubs are companies, they compete for the premier league and other cup titles, but they also compete in the lucrative Asian and global markets for fans to sell merchandise to and for pay per view sports income. The better their football, the bigger their potential revenue.
As in any sector, that wealth of resources still needs to be well managed otherwise you'll come up short against more experienced opposition.
That One Thing That Made All the Difference
App Economy Creates Nearly 500k Jobs in US: Before the iPhone there was no app industry, but with the meteoric expansion of it and rival devices, the sector now employs in the region of half a million people in the United States alone.
Flexible Screens Have Arrived: C3Nano, a company that makes transparent, flexible screens has secured a round of funding worth $6.7, and is building relationships in Japan and Korea with giants such as Samsung. The technology boasts it's robust and cost effective. (Includes demo video)
StartUp May Save Businesses Fortunes in Legal Costs: Technology has limited, changed or destroyed many long established industries, now it might be the turn of the legal professions to take a battering, having to compete with technological solutions to some of its core business practices.
The World's Smallest 3D Printer (Video): What could you do with the world’s smallest 3D printer? At TEDxVienna Klaus Stadlmann demos his tiny, affordable printer that could someday make customized hearing aids or sculptures smaller than a human hair.
'Upstart Business' is a phrase that seems to be creeping into the journalistic language used on tech and entrepreneurial blogs in the US. The first time I heard it I thought the writer was simply playing with the normal term 'startup' to be witty and focus on a particularly ballsy and inspiring effort of a young entrepreneur. Then a week or two later I read it again elsewhere. This got me thinking: Was 'upstart' just a meme that one clever writer used once and then suddenly caught on with the blogging fraternity or is it now a well known and accepted term? More to the point does its origin matter and is it more important to ask which is better?
Googling the term, you get a myriad of results. Many are for business or consultancy related groups and services that use the 'upstart' interchangeably with 'startup'.
The online dictionary definitions which appear are all similar to this one:
n. A person of humble origin who attains sudden wealth, power, or importance, especially one made immodest or presumptuous by the change; a parvenu.
adj. 1. Suddenly raised to a position of consequence.
2. Self-important; presumptuous.
Reading between the lines in the tech blogs it appears that the difference is this; 'Startups' are entrepreneurial businesses that begin with external funding from venture capital from their inception. However, 'Upstart' businesses begin without significant external funding, just savings and personal loans from friends and family and usually the founders maintain all equity. This is in keeping with the upstart definition, springing from humble origins to wealth, rather than having lots of cash to play with before you have a customer.
A Big Upstart
Felix Dennis, author of the refreshingly direct, 'How to Get Rich', is very much in the upstart mould and believes a business owner should do everything in their power to hold on to the most equity possible. Each percentage of equity you manage to own, could be worth millions when you eventually sell your business. In one chapter he describes how two important employees at his magazine demanded a small share of the business or they'd start a rival publication.
He instantly called their bluff, fired them and wished them well in their new venture. Within a few years their business was bust and they were back working for him, no hard feelings. When he sold up and moved on, that tiny percentage they had demanded was worth millions; his baby, his millions. Dennis put it in uncompromising terms:
Talent is indispensable, although it is always replaceable.
Just remember the simple rules concerning talent:
Identify It, Hire It, Nurture It, Reward It, Protect It. And when the time comes, Fire It.