You’ve heard that word before. It’s everywhere; in the news, in magazines, on the radio, on the web. In recent years, startups have become the buzz word within the labour market and rightly so. They may begin small, with a limited budget and employees, but if the idea or product generates consumer demand, that little idea could create many jobs, and tremendous revenue.
But what is it?
A startup is risky and by definition it attempts to solve a problem where a solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed. It begins with an idea to improve an already existing product or it can begin with an original idea. The entrepreneur or entrepreneurs must be passionate about their product, because as Jan Koum (WhatsApp founder) said, “a startup is a feeling.” It is a strong feeling and watching your idea grow into a product is more than a business; it’s planting a seed, finding the best soil, giving it sunlight, water and with time, watching it grow.
The production. After planning, a prototype is made. This prototype, along with a business model, helps entrepreneurs gather a target audience, and hopefully, investors. Companies like Kickstarter aid in the funding process. Kickstarter was created for startups; it allows entrepreneurs to post photos of their product idea and prototype online. People like you and me can contribute a certain amount of money to projects that interest us. If the campaign reaches its target goal, production ensues. If the project does not reach the target goal, entrepreneurs go back to the drawing board and work to improve their product. Entrepreneurs must be fluent on trending markets to create a successful business.
If the product succeeds, startups open their doors to investors. Most of the time, these investors ask for a share in the company. But with investors, comes credibility, connections. And then, the product is put on the market, and with everyone’s fingers crossed, hoping to soar and succeed.
Working for a startup
Startups are stressful; the pace is fast, sometimes you work with limited budget and resources but once a startup gains popularity and revenue, it blooms. And guess who can work for a startup? You! This year over 80% of UK startups plan to hire, most of these startups hiring candidates with engineering or IT backgrounds. Startups also give employees the chance to grow with the company. The unique experience and intimate relationship between producer and product is unmatched in any other sector.
Super successful startups that we’re certain you’ve heard of
Snapchat: A picture tells a thousand words. And with Snapchat, it’s also brought this startup company to a net worth of over $800 million. Can you believe that? Snapchat and its 100 million users send more than 350 million “snaps” per day.
Skyscanner: A startup from Edinburgh, Skyscanners is a flight search engine. One of the company’s original features is the customers’ ability to make searches flexible by month or year.
Songkick: Be the first to know when your favourite band is touring! Songkick allows you to search and save your favourite groups, alerting you when they’re playing near your location. You can even buy tickets from the website or mobile app!
Tinder: Looking for love? The Tinder startup allows users to connect with their mobiles to start a little romance with others in their nearby location.
Dropbox: With over 200 million users uploading and sharing files, Dropbox has become one of the easiest and safest ways to share over the internet.
Yes, Startups are daunting; they take a great deal of dedication and money. But with the right research and a little bit of investment help, there’s no stopping you. Go forward with that crazy idea you have, take a risk and with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, your crazy idea may turn into a million pound dream.