Every business begins as a start-up. Pick out any of the most valuable companies globally, and there will be a point in their history where they were not the market leader. In the 21st century, tech companies have dominated the popular conception of how a start-up should grow. Build a unique, innovative platform or piece of technology, and the rest will come—the argument goes.
But in the present day, where timing and popular opinion can dictate the trajectory of a business, taking the progressive route may not cut it against the competition. Increasingly, companies that promise to accelerate the start-up process are entering the marketplace, pledging to bring businesses to the peak of their powers earlier in their development.
However, quick fixes may not be a sustainable solution for a complex growth process. Business people, including Ali Sina, the founder of Stealth Ventures, believe recognizing trends such as the rise of AI could be the key to the future of start-up companies.
Solve a human problem
Some companies are founded on the belief that there is a particular demand for what they are offering. But the most compelling use cases can be made when the appeal of a product or service speaks for itself. As societal demands grow and shrink, enterprise has the potential to find a solution and capitalize on it.
“Disrupting everything that is not currently working is an effective way to look at start-ups,” Sina said. “The best companies are built out of real necessities that profoundly affect human life.”
Broadly speaking, climate change, income, and the future of education are often touted as compelling necessities in contemporary life. Harnessing common needs at the center of a business’ ethos could dictate its success as a start-up.
Think outside the venture capital box
Venture capital (VC) is commonly seen not as beneficial to a new business but essential for its existence. Some argue that all companies are different and have different operational requirements and product values. Therefore, the argument goes that alternative sources of funding that circumvent traditional barriers to entry could be more suitable.
“Some venture capital firms contractually have short-term horizons,” Sina explained. “Using VC can also pressure founders and business operators to rush their development. Finally, entrepreneurs may not all have access to the same VC firms, meaning opportunities may not be relevant to all businesses.”
Advocates against venture capital contend that public investment could be in the future for start-up businesses. Following the recent popularity of stock trading online, a similar system could be used to give traction to upstart ventures. In an increasingly automated world, some argue that putting investment in the hands of a specified few may not be beneficial for the majority.
Embrace artificial intelligence
Businesses that offer brick-and-mortar products or services are often claimed to be everlasting. The claim may be valid, but the methodology of producing those outcomes could change soon. Artificial intelligence’s (AI) growing influence may trigger a seismic shift in business practices that start-ups should be aware of.
“Advanced AI could change everything,” Sina said. “The changes may be drastic and intimidating if entrepreneurs are not prepared. Start-up businesses can improve their likelihood of success by entering the field and recognizing the potential of an AI-powered society.”
Other innovations such as cryptocurrency and NFTs are likely to shape the next few years of commerce. Start-ups themselves can define the future, and many business people desire their success due to the potential impact on the world. Embracing innovative trends while sticking to the business fundamentals could see a more significant proportion of start-up companies find their place in the market.