Is a startup the same for every entrepreneur?

social-networkingFor an experienced entrepreneur, a startup would be something that will need substantial amount of up front capital and lots of employee to get started. For a relatively young entrepreneur, a startup would be something as simple as setting up a blog or starting a fan site for a pop star. For some the motivation is to make a few bucks every month; for others they want to turn around another enterprise and sell it to a larger company.

In the past, I have pulled together websites overnight and sold it on eBay the next day for a couple of thousand dollars. These websites could be as simple as a forum, a wholesale website, a referral website or simply an informational website. Yes I’ve considered myself a successful entrepreneur while in school. I was making a lot more money than any of my classmates. I did not have to get a summer job or find a part time job while studying. I was running my own show. My classmates had no clue how to put together a website or how to get a P2P software to work or anything closer to that. I was able to freelance and learn a lot more than what my school was teaching me. This is probably one of the reasons why I end up being successful in what I did compare to my classmates. Things are different now that I have a lot more experience, both with successes and failures. The cost of my business was relatively close to “nothing” because I was not really taking any “risk”. I did not have to worry about paying rent or hiring employees. I was just happy to make money flipping websites. Please note, this industry is still huge and there are many opportunities out there to make money just doing that. I will explain to you how I did this in a later post.

However, for an experience entrepreneur, who is used to building successful enterprises from ideas to execution, the word “startup” would mean something totally different. They will focus on working along side VCs and Angel investors to seed fund an idea. Their goals will be different. As we all know the risk is higher here compared to what I said earlier. However, the reward will also be high if the company become successful.

So in conclusion, from my past experience as a young entrepreneur and now as matured entrepreneur, I’ve come to learn that “one-size-fits-all” approach does not work for all startups. Different ideas and different market opportunities presents different challenges – i.e. capital cost and risks.

I would love to get your opinion on this topic. This is something I want to explore further along with you. Are you a high, low or moderate risk taker? What is your goal – big bucks or enough to pay for your hosting and other services?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan July 18, 2009 at 10:29 am

Young and don’t like to take big risks. Learning and want to grow to take risk. I am working on a blog at the moment.

John McKinsey July 18, 2009 at 10:32 am

Bang on. Everyone has a different tolerance for risk. Based on that their experience their calculation is different. I have successfully launched a few businesses over the past 10 years and am always on the lookout for more opportunities. Social networks is where it is now.

John
PS – nice site.

Venessa July 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm

working on a blog. low risk taker. hope to follow the rules of the startup to make my blog successful.

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