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What is meant by 'startup'

Syed Islam
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Joined: Oct 03, 2013
Posts: 117
I've seen a lot of job postings that mention 'startup'.

At first I thought this was related to the size or newness of the company. Then thought it might be a company with a unique idea like facebook. CMaybe it's a bit of both. Could someone clear it up for me please?
Campbell Ritchie
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It usually means newness of the company. People working there may have more flexible contracts and working patterns than in established firms. They may also have really novel ideas, or only think they have really novel ideas
I would expect startup companies to be small, usually.
fred rosenberger
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  16

Facebook was a startup at one point. So was Microsoft, Apple, General Motors, IBM...You could even say that in 1776, the U.S. Government was a startup.

All have long since left that world behind.


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Deepak Bala
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Joined: Feb 24, 2006
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    5

I like Paul Graham's definition of startups - http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html


A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of "exit." The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.


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Syed Islam
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Joined: Oct 03, 2013
Posts: 117
Thanks for the input guys.

So my understanding is that a startup can be a unique idea, like the new facebook. Or it can be a new/small business, that needs a website with custom features?
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
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I worked at a company that was a startup for 10 years . To me, a startup is defined by a) sources of funding and b) company culture.

Startups are usually a mixture of owner funding, investor funding and self-funding. The people who invest in the company have direct control over day to day operations

The company culture tends to to be more flat. No several layers of management. Also, the leadership tends to come from the bottom. The managers don't drive the company. Rather, ideas come from the workers, and the company takes direction from those ideas.
Syed Islam
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Joined: Oct 03, 2013
Posts: 117
Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I worked at a company that was a startup for 10 years . To me, a startup is defined by a) sources of funding and b) company culture.

Startups are usually a mixture of owner funding, investor funding and self-funding. The people who invest in the company have direct control over day to day operations

The company culture tends to to be more flat. No several layers of management. Also, the leadership tends to come from the bottom. The managers don't drive the company. Rather, ideas come from the workers, and the company takes direction from those ideas.

Interesting, so how would that translate with regards to the type of software developers they are looking for.

For example, Ruby on Rails developers tend to work for startups because of rapid deployment.
Roger Sterling
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Joined: Apr 06, 2012
Posts: 426

Syed Islam wrote:
Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I worked at a company that was a startup for 10 years . To me, a startup is defined by a) sources of funding and b) company culture.

Startups are usually a mixture of owner funding, investor funding and self-funding. The people who invest in the company have direct control over day to day operations

The company culture tends to to be more flat. No several layers of management. Also, the leadership tends to come from the bottom. The managers don't drive the company. Rather, ideas come from the workers, and the company takes direction from those ideas.

Interesting, so how would that translate with regards to the type of software developers they are looking for.

For example, Ruby on Rails developers tend to work for startups because of rapid deployment.


They are looking for the type of software developers who don't mind missing paychecks frequently. Don't go to work there if you depend on your paycheck to buy food, pay rent, or make car payments. They also will expect you to work 20 hours per day and only be paid a small salary as if you only worked 8 hours each day. If you get sleepy, usually they have cots in the back room you can nap on, and a shower.
Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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Syed Islam wrote:
Interesting, so how would that translate with regards to the type of software developers they are looking for.

For example, Ruby on Rails developers tend to work for startups because of rapid deployment.


This part, IMO, requires some sort of clarification, as "deployment" is a very loaded word. What do you consider deployment? Do you consider putting up a prototype application as deployment? Or are you talking about full production system, with actual customers on the system?

I agree that ruby on rails does get to a prototype quicker, but it doesn't get to a full production quality system quicker. IMO, many startup companies tend to not distinguish between the two, and this is *not* a good thing.

Henry


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