What is a startup?

Our Startup community is very passionate about helping each other and we love to hear stories of someone creating another international success from New Zealand.

But people are still confused about what we mean by a "startup".  They hear the term in different contexts from local small businesses to tech companies.  Even companies with 20 or more staff seem to want to use the label. 

So what is a Startup?

I spent a bit of time on the Google and found definitions from Wikipedia, Steve Blank, Quora and Fortune magazine which had the following common threads, that a startup is;

- Focused on scalability
- Aiming for revenue growth over profit
- Trying something new and innovative
- Searching for a sustainable business model
- After a big opportunity
- Driven by passion to take on new things in an uncertain world

Don't like reading, watch this instead.

Steve Blank’s three-minute definition is also a good short video that provides additional context and background to his views.

Opportunity size and ambition

So it all comes down to 2 main things; opportunity size and ambition. A startup goes after a large market opportunity with confidence and determination even when there is significant uncertainty.

The diagram below from StartupCommons.org is an good way to visualise these startup dimensions.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company