Why I won’t run another startup
Arthur Attwell

I’m back. Last thing he wrote, “run a business, not a startup.”

Well, a business and a startup are two very different things. Startups are typically innovation driven (the innovation could be technology, but it could be an innovative business model). Startups are temporary organizations created for the purpose of discovering a repetitive and scalable business model. So don't expect much more than industry average returns and linear growth if you're only going to run a tried and true business.

from Disciplined Entrepreneurship

“The first type of entrepreneurship is small and medium enterprise entrepreneurship (SME). This is the type of business that is likely started by one person to serve a local market and grows to be a small or medium-size business that serves this local market. It is most often closely held, likely a family business, and having close control of a small business is important. The business “rewards” for these founders are primarily in the form of personal independence and cash flow from the business. These businesses generally do not need to raise as much money, and when money is injected into these businesses, the resultant increase in revenue and jobs created is relatively rapid. Such enterprises can be geographically dispersed and the jobs they create are for the most part “non-tradable” in that they cannot be outsourced to some place else to reduce costs.

Frequently these businesses are service businesses or retailers of other companies’ products. The key distinguishing factor is their focus on local markets

Innovation-Driven Enterprise (IDE) Entrepreneurship Innovation-driven enterprise (IDE) entrepreneurship is the more risky and more ambitious of the two. IDE entrepreneurs are aspiring to serve markets that go well beyond the local market. They are looking to sell their offering at a global or at least at a regional level. These entrepreneurs usually work in teams and they are building their business off some technology, process, business model, or other innovation that will give them a significant competitive advantage as compared to existing companies. They are interested in creating wealth more than they are interested in control, and they often have to sell equity in their company to support their ambitious growth plans.

While they are often slower to start, IDE entrepreneurs tend to have more impressive exponential growth when they do get customer traction. Growth is what they seek, at the risk of losing control of their company and having multiple owners. While SME companies tend to grow up and stay relatively small (but not always), IDE companies are more interested in “going big or going home.” To achieve their ambitions, they have to become big and fast-growing to serve global markets.IDE entrepreneurship creates companies that have “tradable” jobs that may well be outsourced if it makes the overall business more competitive.