Eric Ries in The Lean Startup defines a startup as “a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty” (3). His definition is along similar lines as the Startup Genome's except that he includes the startup's environment: "conditions of extreme uncertainty." The "uncertainty" is an important aspect to the definition because it captures the fact that a startup lives or dies by how well it acquires and retains customers. The definition of a startup for this thesis combines both the Startup Genome's and Ries' definition with the aforementioned survey and observations.
A startup is a human institution that evolves under conditions of extreme uncertainty along ten interdependent dimensions (business development, customer development, finance, fundraising, legal, marketing, operations, product development, sales, and team) to create a new product or service for a specific customer/user group.
I think this is a useful definition for mentoring because it reveals the strategic areas that mentors can provide business advice.
The types of startups studied and entrepreneurs interviewed for this thesis have all been within the information technology industry.
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- The Importance of Startups in Job Creation and Job Destruction, Kauffman Foundation
- Startup Genome Report Extra on Premature Scaling, August 29th, 2011
- The Lean Startup, Eric Ries