When I think of startups, terms such as ‘Culture’, ‘Values’, ‘Collaboration’, ‘Connection’ etc. come to mind. If one was to consider startups that could be considered a success, then you have Warby Parker, Gilt, Etsy, Tumblr, Air Bnb, Uber as some examples.
What do these start ups have in common? What is fueling the successes of these organizations?
Each of them seems to have a clear focus on one end goal – using innovation as a lens to create a product/service/platform/tool that is based on the idea of connection. The idea of using a variety of tools and models to connect with the end user at a fundamental level by providing something which is of value or by solving a problem that impacts the user at an individual level, e.g.- finding a reasonable place to stay or getting a taxi when you need it the most.
‘Innovation’, ‘Connection’, ‘Values’ are buzz words that are trending today. Of late I have been trying to understand what they mean in the context of organizations as living and growing entities that need to evolve and adapt in order to stay alive and thrive. Of the three concepts mentioned previously ‘Value’ to me seems to be the game changer. Value is what you make of it.
Do you as an organization value your end user? Do you place a premium in quality content over page views? Are your values geared towards a successful profitable exit or are your values an evolving framework focused on growth and establishing yourself as an enduring brand/product/service? These questions become more pertinent when considering the current startup eco system. There are young innovative startup companies disrupting the market, but while doing so, how many of them are truly focused on what they value and what steps to implement in order to achieve that value?