The Slow Startup Movement

Jamie Wong
Dec 15, 2014 · 4 min read

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Slow Startups is an international movement founded by French brothers Jean-Pierre Dupuy and François Dupuy. Referred to as an alternative to fast growth, it seeks to preserve personal health, relationships, ethics and good will in the startup ecosystem. The brothers have disputed references to the movement as, “Slow food for startups” or the “Slow founders” movement because these terms embody an ideological bias towards speed, efficiency and simplification, which stand in direct opposition to the movement’s values of unhurried development, complexity and human sustenance. In an effort to translate their ideas to the Silicon Valley lexicon, they use the metaphor of “drip” versus a “quick cup.” The young founders conceived of the idea while applying lean startup methodology to the Lean Startup methodology itself, a movement founded by Eric Ries and made famous in his 2011 book, The Lean Startup and blog by the same name. Its goals of sustainability and longevity call for financial reform where slow spending is met with slow growth and slow learnings which movement evangelists, psychologist and personal finance advisors claim leads to more widespread and higher long-term returns. Slow Startups is an extension of the Slow Movement which is a ubiquitous term applied to the cultural shift in slowing down life’s pace.

Image for post
Image for post
Image via


  1. Slow Startup organization
  2. National movements
  3. Slow Hardware
  4. Slow Fintech
  5. Slow Sharing Economy
  6. Criticisms
  7. See also
  8. References
  9. Further reading
  10. External links

Slow Startup organization [edit]

Slow Startups began in France by a group of technology entrepreneurs who created an organization to better understand why they struggled to finance their startups. Historically, there is little capital available to early-stage startups in the country — business angels are few and far between and venture capitalists must favor high-growth opportunities typically seen at much later stages of a business. What this group identified, in addition to known financial constraints in France, is that all of their startups shared a common trait of slow customer development and slow product development which resulted in slow growth. Similar to their forefathers of the Enlightenment, the group promotes the philosophical idea of tolerance and embracing multiple truths. This stands in stark contrast to the gospels of Silicon Valley that insist that the only way to wealth, power and happiness is vis-à-vis rapid growth and monopoly, a paradigm that forces founders to risk their health, relationships and financial futures in favor of the 1% of startups and 100% of venture capitalists who enjoy high returns on their gross output. The way Descartes and Voltaire promoted a departure from religious texts, the Slow Startup organization advocates founders distance themselves from tech blogs, Tweetstorms, and conferences and instead read literature from experts in the fields they are pursuing, build genuine relationships based on shared values and interested rather than public personas and Karma points, devote time to art and culture, volunteer for the underprivilaged and spend time with loved ones. Their trademark slogan is, “Innovation is the future: wait for it.”

Objectives [edit]

The Slow Startup Movement incorporates a series of objectives within its mission, including:

  • preserving and promoting traditional forms of product development such as prototyping and long lunches
  • organic forms of exercise and socializing that do not include toxic additives such as (a) rock-climbing walls, Cross-Fit, Soul Cycle (b)Starcraft, Starcraft II, Warcraft (c) Streaming Starcraft, Starcraft II, Warcraft (d) Snapchat, Secret, Tinder
  • lobbying for more government funds for startups and embracing red tape
  • promoting small-scale gatherings in homes and public spaces where individuals with shared values and networks gather at a table with food on it and verbally discuss ideas
  • lobbying against graphs that curve too steeply up and to the right
  • discouraging the use of graphs with only two axis
  • lobbying for government-funded Startup Decelerator programs
  • educating business leaders about diversifying KPIs to include, “Gross product happiness,” “love exchange rate” and “ratio of team-to-customer happiness (goal of 1:1)”
  • developing a pyramid of startup needs with wine, cheese and literature at its base
  • encouraging ethical business practices such as honesty, lawfulness and paying due taxes
  • lobbying against the use of terms such as “hyper” “accelerator” and “rapid”
  • encouraging a “Slowup” certification to identify Slow Startups
  • lobbying against foods such as Soylent and Ramen noodles
  • educating founders and employees about whole phrases such as “in my honest opinion (dans mon opinion honnête)” and “rolling on the floor laughing my ass off (roulant sur le sol en riant mon cul)”
  • educating founders about history, philosophy, literature and science

Founders Jean-Pierre Dupuy and François Dupuy believe that “the ecosystem must nurture the creativity and stamina of entrepreneurs as much as it nurtures the greed of financiers.”

Startup Girl


Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store