What Can We Learn from Startup Culture?
Posted on August 20, 2015
There is a specific type of company culture that’s usually associated with startup businesses. Because they are smaller and newer, startups operate much differently than established companies do; however, some of these established companies are starting to take some aspects of startup culture and transplant them into their own daily workings. Here are some of the virtues of startup culture we’ve found:
1. Creative problem solving
Startups generally have less experience and fewer resources at their disposal, so they must be creative when solving problems. Startups that survive generally do so because they’ve found a new and/or better way to get something done, so this type of innovation is one of their number one virtues. Oftentimes in larger, veteran companies, since there are more resources, it seems easier to throw money at problems; however by relying on innovative strategies, any company big or small can find efficient solutions and become the next big thing.
2. Adaptability and agility
Startups are known for having particularly high market pressure. They’re up against big competitors who have experience and resources beyond their imagination. Entrepreneurs need to be willing and able to adapt and fill their niche in the market or they won’t make it. Failing to do so is why more than half of startups fail in the first 18 months! When Darwin talked about survival of the fittest, he was saying that the organisms who survive are the ones who readily adapt to the changes around them. Businesses are the same. Larger businesses can learn from this startup-style of adaptability, because sometimes these established companies tend to fight change in order to maintain the status quo, which might seem easier; however, the market is always changing and businesses, big or small, need to change with it.
3. Culture by people for people
Many large companies begin to feel impersonal for employees and customers alike. Another piece of startup culture is an emphasis on people. The people who work at a startup from the beginning are the ones who shape the culture—it’s person to person—unlike in larger companies where culture is shared more through a mission statement and handbook. There also tends to be more of an emphasis on the customer at startups; they depend on the customer to take a chance on their new product or service against all of their competitors who have been proven over time. As such a startup culture is one where the customer is more appreciated. This mentality of a culture by people and for people is becoming more popular, not just as a marketing ploy but realized in all departments of many different types of companies.
This type of culture is no longer specific to startups; it’s sneaking its way into the norm for many businesses, and that seems like a good thing.