Does the Startup Lifecycle Last Forever? 5 Reasons Why It Does

Aaron Vick - Does the Startup Lifecycle Last Forever? 5 Reasons Why It Does

5 Reasons Why the Startup Lifecycle Lasts Forever

You dream one day your business will emerge from the startup lifecycle. But you should always treat your business like a startup. Here are 5 reasons why.

From Snapchat to Airbnb, startups have been responsible for some of the most world-changing innovation.


Because the benefits of being a startup allow them to focus on the future rather than on trying to replicate the success of the past.

Now more than ever, large businesses like multinational conglomerate General Electric are looking to scale while keeping the disposition a company would have during the startup lifestyle. Big companies like GE understand that as businesses grow, processes need to become more stringent in order to scale. Still, they are trying to build flexibility into their approach to keep their operation creative and hungry.

This post is all about teaching people some of the primary qualities you have during the startup lifecycle. It also shows you how continuing to put them in place as you grow can be beneficial.

Top 5 Startup Lifecycle Qualities That Can Benefit Your Business No Matter the Size

1) Growth Without Bloat

As companies grow headcount increases. With increased headcount comes inevitable bloat. It’s easy to lose sight of the day to day contributions team members are making when you have a big company. Startups don’t have the luxury of overlooking individual output.

At startups, everyone needs to contribute value that makes them worth their compensation. If people are not pulling their weight, startup leadership will need to cut stragglers or watch their company fail.

Preserving that aversion to bloat as your business scales will bolster creativity. It can also lead to interactivity between team members and keeps margins up.

2) Participatory Culture

Big business and stringent processes can make for team members that exist in silos. This isolation can create an environment that feels like a factory.

That sort of culture is good for continuing to keep alive already built success. As innovation swirls in the marketplace though, the returns of conveyor belt business practices will see diminishing returns.

At startups, people wear multiple hats. This lets them give their ideas across department lines to helps refine processes and create breakthroughs. If you can continue to make your environment safe for people to offer perspective as your business grows, you’ll find that your employees will be more fulfilled and your company will flourish.

3) Future Focused

Startups look towards the future because they don’t usually have the resources to compete in the present.

If car service Zipcar were to have started another traditional rental agency against players like Enterprise and Hertz, they would have probably gone out of business.

Instead, Zipcar took an innovative approach to on-demand car rentals. Their approach leaned on tech consumers were familiar with to create a convenient service. With the resources big players in the rental car industry have, why were none of them looking at evolving consumer tastes and how to capitalize?

The answer is that big companies prioritize preserving the status quo. This leads to making only small steps in the way of innovation while status quo is something startups look to shatter.

If you’re operating a big company you should keep that startup lifecycle focus of changing the world. It’s more valuable than trying to win the day.

4) Being Customer-centric

Companies in the startup lifecycle are all about their customers. They constantly listen to their needs and try to provide convenient ways to consume their products and services. Big business’ disposition to customers is more stringent.

While no business wants to displease their customers, larger companies often fall into a pattern of feeling like they don’t need to fully meet customer demands given how established they are. Established companies can afford to appeal to the lowest common denominator. The volume of business they’re getting makes implementing customer requested changes less pressing.

Look no further than the television industry to see how that disposition can be bad. New media companies like Netflix gave people ultra-convenient ways to watch excellent content. Big media felt safe in its commercial heavy television-based approach.

Today, big media companies are scrambling to replicate Netflix’s model amidst plummeting cable subscriptions.

During the startup lifecycle, you’re always looking for ways to meet customer expectations. As you grow you don’t want to lose that perspective.

5) Mobility

Being able to pivot at a team or company level is an essential aspect of being able to keep up with the market. For startups, continued growth is needed to overcome debt and become profitable.

During the startup lifecycle, you may be going in a single direction for a long time. Still, if you arrive at a new idea that could lead to more rapid expansion, you’re able to change courses. Larger companies have approval processes that need to take place. Committees need to weigh in on major changes, pushing and pulling takes place, and ultimately, they can’t seize an opportunity quickly.

Being reactive to trends isn’t always a good thing. But allowing yourself the flexibility to change courses can lead to being proactive. Being proactive is essential to staying ahead of the competition.

Being able to pivot is important during the startup lifecycle. Larger companies that want to stay relevant need to feel that urgency.

The Bottom Line

Businesses emerge from the startup lifecycle with a lot of processes and policies. These help accommodate large workforces and further expansion. The downside of this is that they often come at the expense of creativity and a culture that is focused on customer’s changing needs.

Growing while keeping the mindset of a startup company can help your business stay profitable. It also leads to a perspective that will bolster innovation. The more innovative you are, the better chance your brand has of being successful deep into the future.

If you’d like personalized assistance on how you can achieve maximum growth in your startup venture, get in touch with me. Let’s work together to get your business to the place it’s meant to be.

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