Startup Stereotypes

Ditching the Rose-Tinted Specs

ARCHIV - Ein Mitarbeiter der Bosch Startup Plattform geht am 28.10.2015 in Ludwigsburg (Baden-Württemberg) durch einen Büroraum. Über diesen konzerninternen Bereich und einen eigenen Venture-Capital-Fonds ist Bosch im Startup-Bereich aktiv. Foto: Wolfram Kastl/dpa (zu «Deutsche Konzerne investieren verstärkt in Startups» vom 09.04.2016) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Do startups really revitalize business culture?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The business community’s rose-tinted view of startup culture is wrong on many counts but there are some lessons to be learned from the new firms, the author argues.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Many envisage startup founders as overnight billionaires but that overlooks the hard grind of starting a new firm.
    • Successful startups are forced by their investors to include structures and processes in their organizations.
    • The startup sphere is highly competitive. Only the cream of the crop succeed in a world of 20-hour days and a relentless fight for talent.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

They play around in ball pits and brainstorm a string of bright ideas. Then they translate those ideas into algorithms overnight and create massive economics of scale while keeping costs in check.

These shooting-star companies are hierarchy free, but that doesn’t stop their founders becoming billionaires at the drop of a hat. They pair their success with a leisurely lifestyle, drinking beer with their startup colleagues alongside Berlin’s Spree River.

Many bosses at established companies cling onto such stereotypes of startups in Berlin. The traditional managers, worn down by shareholder votes, a prevailing silo mentality and corporate rigidity, view startups as conquerors of a brave new digital world.

Startups represent a beacon of hope for these protagonists of the “old economy”. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are the poster boys for this sparkling new age.

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