Terry Tsang

Terry Tsang

Unveiling the Mystery: Why Do We Call It a ‘Startup’?

1. The Origin and The Meaning of Startup

The word “start” refers to the beginning of something, and “up” often implies growth or progression.

In the context of business, a “startup” is a newly established company that is just beginning its operations and aiming for growth and development.

The term “startup” has its origins in the world of business and entrepreneurship, and its usage can be traced back to the mid-20th century.

While the exact date of its initial use is unknown, the word gained popularity as a method to designate newly created corporations in the post-World War II era, particularly in the United States. This was a period of technological innovation and economic growth, which emerged a number of new enterprises looking to capitalise on new opportunities.

The technology industry, particularly in areas such as Silicon Valley, was instrumental in popularising the word. Many technology-focused businesses began with limited resources, often in garages or small offices, and evolved to become market leaders.


2. WHY Startup?

Startups arise for a variety of reasons, but here are three of the most important:

1. Innovation and Problem Solving: Startups frequently originate to address market gaps or difficulties. Entrepreneurs uncover unmet requirements, inefficiencies, or gaps in existing solutions. They develop new goods or services that provide improved solutions, more convenience, or unique approaches to long-standing problems.

2. Entrepreneurial Ambition: Many people have a strong desire to start their own businesses, bring their ideas to reality, and develop a business around their passions. Startups give a platform for entrepreneurs to make their dreams coem true, take risks, and have control over their own ventures.

3. Economic Growth and Job Creation: Startups greatly contribute to economic growth by driving innovation, establishing new sectors, and creating job opportunities. They frequently start as small groups and, if successful, quickly expand, hiring people, connecting with suppliers, and contributing to the local and global economies.

These explanations illustrate the various motives and goals that drive individuals and teams to launch new enterprises.

Whether driven by a desire to solve problems, pursue dreams, or contribute to the economy, startups play an important role in shaping industries, societies, and even the world.


3. Startup Methodologies:

Nowadays, there are 3 top startup methodologies that are widely adopted and practiced by startup founders and companies:

#1. Lean Startup Methodology
The Lean Startup methodology, popularized by Eric Ries, focuses on building a minimum viable product (MVP) quickly, measuring how customers interact with it, and learning from their feedback. The emphasis is on validated learning, iterative development, and making informed decisions based on real-world data.

#2. Agile Methodology
Originally developed for software development, the Agile methodology has found broader applications in startups and various industries. Agile involves breaking down the development process into small, manageable iterations called “Sprints.” Teams work collaboratively to deliver working increments of a product, gather feedback, and adapt the development plan as needed. The methodology promotes flexibility, adaptability, and customer collaboration.

#3. Design Thinking
While not exclusive to startups, design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem-solving that’s particularly valuable for new ventures. It involves empathizing with users’ needs, defining the problem, generating creative solutions, prototyping, and testing those solutions with users. Design thinking encourages innovation by putting the user at the center of the design process.

Each of these methodologies provides a structured approach to starting and growing a business, focusing on various aspects of product development, customer interaction, and problem-solving.

The methodology chosen is determined by factors such as the nature of the startup, the industry in which it operates, and the preferences of the founders and team.

Stay tuned for my upcoming articles where we’ll delve into each of these three methodologies.


Live passionately,

Terry Tsang
IT Consultant . Programmer . Startup Coach