RECONSIDER
DHH
15.7K436

Thanks for formulating these thoughts (and I am a Basecamp fan), as they have been very much on my mind. That there is a ‘culture of startup’ certainly has put me right off and made me look really hard at what I’m doing. When I hit go to manifest my business, suddenly everyone was calling it a startup. Being old-fashioned, I just thought of it as an online business with a bit of coding behind it, a modern B2C sitting in the tech-space. Apparently, being incorporated, having developers behind it, and doing an investment round was sufficient to label it ‘startup,’ at which point I started to look around at who else had this label affixed to their business. I noticed a lot of young men in their 20s/30s with big ideas and big dreams who had few responsibilities in life and lusted for big capital and even bigger kudos (whilst living in their parents’ basement, LOL). I just had a great business idea that involved some coding, branding, and needed investment. Talking to other startup entrepreneurs, there was a lot of emphasis on the ‘minimal viable product’ and getting lots of capital. Seed funding, angel investors, dreams of IPOs. Business plans, robust company structures, role descriptions, marketing strategies… eh, not so much. As a woman, a mother who wants to be around for my kids after school in Sydney, Australia (rather than Silicon Valley), and being a stickler for detail and structure and okay, kind of a perfectionist-leave-no-stone-unturned — -I couldn’t even remotely relate. Whilst I was polishing my business plan and testing the ‘mvp’ I was doing a management course tailored to my business, to create something that had the inherent internal foundation to grow, even if the concept required pivoting down the line. I bootstrapped to get it going because, well, I have to feed my kids too. Sure, I have ambition. I have dreams. But I want a viable business. I want steady growth. I want work life balance. I want my peaceful suburban life…I think we need another word for this kind of startup. Let me know if you think of one.