It's still "To Be Determined" whether "Starter Startups" will be a formal program or just more of a startup movement/idea/philosophy - or even just new terminology to help clarify and differentiate between the many different types/sizes/stages of startups. Whether you're a current entrepreneur, a student, or a full-time employee (at a startup or in Corporate America!), we'd love to work with you if you can recognize/appreciate some of the following "Starter Startups" principles/beliefs:
- There is value in the idea of Part-Time startups (at least initially)
- The belief that you must be "ALL-IN" on one startup is unnecessary/outdated (for SOME types of startups and SOME types of Entrepreneurs)
- Working Smarter (rather than harder) is more than a cliche.
- There is value in the idea of Crawling before Walking and Walking before Running.
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket. (MultipleBasketStartups.com)
~99% of Startups Will Fail. There are obviously MANY reasons for this. The "Starter Startups" idea tries to address a few of the Problems & Pitfalls that contribute to the current success/failure rate...
So, what IS a "Starter Startup" anyway?
Before we can define a "Starter Startup", we need to explain a few problems that we've noticed with "regular startups"...
PROBLEM 1: We believe there is actually a big problem with the term "STARTUP" itself - and how ambiguous, UN-defined and all-inclusive it is! Let's look at two quick / hypothetical examples:
Startup A: 1 or 2 co-founders, in year 1, working on a business idea from coffee shops or co-working space... pre-revenue, pre-funding, pre-traction, pre-everything!
Startup B: Year 3 of a B2B SaaS company, 50+ employees, multiple rounds of funding totaling $50+ Million, 7-figure annual recurring revenue, etc.
There are very few (if any!) tips, strategies, or "best practices" that will apply to both A and B!
ANALOGY: It would be extremely confusing (and potentially dangerous!) to simply refer to "water" regardless of whether we were talking about: rain... ice... steam... a puddle... a river... or an ocean! I believe it is equally confusing (and potentially dangerous/detrimental) to essentially just have one, single, all-inclusive term: "startups".
PROBLEM 2: Undefined expectations/goals:
NOTE: Goals for a "Starter Startup" would (at least initially) be modest 6-figure or 7-figure numbers - NOT 8-figures, NOT 9-figures, and certainly NOT a potential (billion-dollar) unicorn!
Another way to think about “STARTER STARTUPS” is in terms of Risk/Reward...
- High Risk; High Reward —> Traditional Startups
- Low Risk; High Reward —> The Ideal (but obviously easier said than done)
- Low Risk; Low Reward —> “STARTER STARTUPS”
- High Risk; Low Reward —> Um... yeah, we don't advise this one!
PROBLEM 3: We will get into this more in our description of "The S.W.A.N. Startup" (Sacrificing Weekends And Nights), but, depending on what type of Startup we're talking about, we think the need to be "ALL-IN" / full-time is not only over-rated and unnecessary (at least initially), but it is a bit outdated from a time just a few years ago before all the cloud software and startup resources that allow you to launch a startup MVP much faster and cheaper than ever before!
A few benefits of Starter Startups for FIRST-TIME Founders:
- Learn while doing; an easy way to gain startup experience
- Make mistakes before they really matter
- Find out if you actually like startup life
- See how well you work with potential co-founders, employees, etc.
- Great for “Proof of Concept” or MVPs (or even a “pre-mvp”)
- You can always attempt to take it bigger later — expanding to larger markets, adding new products/services, pivoting to a bigger idea and/or consciously moving from “low risk / low reward” to “higher risk / higher reward”
- All of the above without quitting your day job, without risking a lot of money (yours or investors’), without wasting a lot of time, etc.
Obviously the part-time "Starter Startup" thing is not going to work for all startups (or all entrepreneurs!), but there are MANY smaller/simpler startup business ideas that can be launched/tested quickly and inexpensively (with little or no investment capital required)..,And with great execution (and/or a potentially-viral idea), aided by the acceleration benefits of cloud software and other startup resources - even a small "Starter Startup" has the ability to quickly achieve product-market fit, gain traction / capture market share, grow, scale, become profitable, and morph into something that would no longer even qualify as a "STARTER Startup!"]
NOTE: ViralWhatever.com has more "Starter Startups" concepts than we'll likely ever get to on our own, so please get in touch if you're interested in working on (or running/owning!) one of ours!
(More Info/Details/Content - Coming Soon)