Wait, What Do You Mean By "Startup?"


That’s an excellent question to ask. Lately I’ve been thinking about that word “startup” a lot. It’s one of those words that seems almost shrouded in mystery and lore. If you mentioned to someone in passing that you’re part of a startup how would they react? What would they assume? What comes to their mind when you utter the word “startup?” What comes to YOUR mind when that same word is uttered?

See? This is where paths diverge. Another example is based on geography. If you mentioned to your neighbor that you’re part of a startup then what would that mean or what dimensions would that take if you were in NYC? How about the Silicon Valley? Raleigh? Boulder? Austin? Portland? But what if that same word is uttered in … Tucson? Tama (Iowa)? Magdalena (NM)? Oakridge (OR)? First of all, you’ll probably have to google those last 3 towns. (I grew up in Tama by the way which is why I threw it in there). The point? It would appear that much (or at least some?) of the conversation around startups is also place-based. Meaning, the context begins shaping the narrative of the word startup.

One perception is that the startup world is full of dudes rocking sweater vests from Ivy League schools (which I have no idea if they wear sweater vests … which really are a fashion understatement). And yet the startup world is full of young international creatives from key schools like Stanford and Cal Berkeley out West. And yet again, it’s full of moms who are creative and want to start something so they can stay at home with their baby. It’s also full of people … blue collar workers … who have an idea for cleaning recycling bins or solar panels. It’s full of people who have a killer scone recipe that they’re using to launch them into getting their own food truck.

The point?

Don’t let the startup word or world intimidate or overwhelm you. Believe me, it IS intimidating and overwhelming. Then there are plenty of “specialists” out their who will help you launch big, or get million dollar backers, or expedite the growth of your new company. Truth be told, while those are all helpful the reality is that most people (if they’re really honest) are simply figuring things out on the fly.

And that’s what we do … help you figure things out on the fly. Those of us involved in our own startups are really doing the same. We’re wrestling through things like marketing, narrowing the focus of our target audience, figuring out our “exact” bottom lines, assessing the best way to expand and grow, and at the same time trying to keep it as fun and fresh as possible. These are the kinds of topics we work through and wrestle with in our Intrepid cohort. We’d love to invite you to be apart of one.