More Than One Kind of Startup?

Incubators, angel investors and many service providers seek companies poised for exponential growth. They’re looking for talented people with killer technology in markets  that have limitless potential. Of course very few companies can actually tick all those boxes.

The Art of the “Pivot”

The truth is that some of our most successful companies discovered exciting new markets and/or killer technologies while doing something else. Their success was the result of their ability to recognize the opportunity that they really just “tripped over”.

Consultants and academics in the management field like to call this ‘eureka moment’ a ‘pivot’. Most would like to create the impression that by giving it a name, they can recreate the steps required to ensure a successful pivot. Perhaps some of them can.

Growth Business vs Lifestyle Business

While investors want to invest in high growth businesses, founders may have a variety of reasons for starting a company. In tough economic times people start businesses to build their own jobs.

Many highly-skilled older workers recognize that there can be greater job security dealing with a large customer base than with a single employer. As my father once told me, “the higher your salary, the closer you are to the door”.

While an angel investor might discourage you from starting a “lifestyle business”,  the entrepreneur should take that advice with a grain of salt. The angel investor is expressing his preference for a specific kind of business to invest in. Many lifestyle businesses don’t need investors. And equity is always a lot more expensive than debt.