Superb piece. I was nodding throughout!
I recall reading a few years ago of a local ‘startup’ who described themselves in a PR piece as “a collective of like-minded individuals sharing a common goal to challenge the status quo of the sector.” Stripping that bare of the BS I read it as “We’re a group of friends who are starting a new business.” – which would have sounded a whole load more sincere… and less likely to fail. The model of ‘enthusiastic people coming together to build a profitable company’ was true long before the word ‘startup’ was coined.
I believe the love of ‘startups’ is driven by a desire to always be seeking freshness and the pleasure of creating something new. Many of the entrepreneurs I read of seem to ricochet from one startup project to the next, seemingly losing interest once the honeymoon period is over and the ‘startup’ turns into what is more traditionally referred to as ‘a business’.
Crucially, I’m wary when someone promotes their business as a ‘startup’ or refers to themselves as ‘a serial entrepreneur’, ‘a starter of things’, ‘a disruptor’ or, worst of all ‘a storyteller’. I associate all this utter nonsense with businesses that driven by egos – ones that will crash and burn as soon as the initial enthusiasm passes.