DNA Is The Differentiator

The Genetic Information Of A Startup

DNA is the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of a startup. The unique vehicles that carry the DNA are the people behind the brand. People are the lifeblood that set startups apart from competing products or brands.

DNA is the differentiator in this world where nothing’s new. For example, the fast casual food segment. Fast casual is the smallest portion of the entire food tech landscape, yet this small segment eclipses the rest of the industry. Fast casual food restaurant growth is up in the last year and yet same store sales are down. Competition for consumers’ dining budgets are intensifying. Consumers have less loyalty due to more options than ever before. What’s making consumers choose your fancy salad over the competition’s across the street?

Food tech landscape via CB Insights

One way to do this is getting it right from the start with a deliberate mission and purpose. Whether you’re prioritizing customers’ needs or focusing on making a product customers love and selling it at a profit, start with a unifying concept. In most cases this is regarded as unchangeable. Indie VC, who is committed to founders building their companies on their terms, states on their homepage:

“The founding DNA of a company is critical to its success. Early patterns and behavior shape everything that comes after.”

How you start the company and who you surround yourself with will greatly impact your success. It’s also the unique backgrounds, attention to detail, pursuits and principles that collectively forms a startups DNA.

Trading on trust with consumers is essential. But ultimately, trust equals consistency over time. If you don’t have it, then it’s just a catchphrase. Consumers feel it and absorb it. Doesn’t have to just be a unique story but it has to be a combination of determination and intelligence that comes across to the consumers. It has to be sourced from the genetic information of a startup — DNA.


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