How Do You Define “Startup”?

Written by Audrey Watters

dictionary_july10.jpgWhat constitutes a “startup”? Is it the age of a company? Its size? Its funding? Its profitability? Its position in the industry?

Steve Jobs often speaks of Apple’s “startup” culture. Last week, an article in the New York Times referred to the seven-year-old airline Virgin America as a startup.

And last month, Louis Gray posted a list on his blog of the “50 Top Startups Worth Watching.” In devising the list, he described some of the parameters he used in selecting the companies: “With the understanding that being a private company does not always mean you are a startup, I looked below the uber-players such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, Craigslist, Tesla.”

Gray makes a distinction between between “uber-player” and “startup” for the purposes of his list, and I do wonder, following their recent round of funding if Foursquare still constitutes a “top startup” or if they’ve moved into the “uber” category?

Questioning the definition of “startup” was the topic of a recent post on YouTern’s blog. For YouTern, the definition is important as the company helps match college interns with startups. And as it receives inquiries from prospective businesses who may or may not be startups, a good working definition of “startup” is crucial in order to decide who would fit its program.


Written by Audrey Watters

dictionary_july10.jpgWhat constitutes a “startup”? Is it the age of a company? Its size? Its funding? Its profitability? Its position in the industry?

Steve Jobs often speaks of Apple‘s “startup” culture. Last week, an article in the New York Times referred to the seven-year-old airline Virgin America as a startup.

And last month, Louis Gray posted a list on his blog of the “50 Top Startups Worth Watching.” In devising the list, he described some of the parameters he used in selecting the companies: “With the understanding that being a private company does not always mean you are a startup, I looked below the uber-players such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, Craigslist, Tesla.”

Gray makes a distinction between between “uber-player” and “startup” for the purposes of his list, and I do wonder, following their recent round of funding if Foursquare still constitutes a “top startup” or if they’ve moved into the “uber” category?

Questioning the definition of “startup” was the topic of a recent post on YouTern‘s blog. For YouTern, the definition is important as the company helps match college interns with startups. And as it receives inquiries from prospective businesses who may or may not be startups, a good working definition of “startup” is crucial in order to decide who would fit its program. Leer más “How Do You Define “Startup”?”

An inch closer to the end of privacy (thanks Facebook!)

See, in the past three days since Facebook announced major new changes to its social contract with all of us, I’ve been able to study my friends’ personal musical tastes in a way I couldn’t just four days ago.

Here, come on over to the new Pandora on my screen. I click on “Friends’ Music” and now let’s look through what I can see.


Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

If the end of privacy is so evil, so awful, so unthinkable, then why am I liking the new Pandora so much?

See, in the past three days since Facebook announced major new changes to its social contract with all of us, I’ve been able to study my friends’ personal musical tastes in a way I couldn’t just four days ago.

Here, come on over to the new Pandora on my screen. I click on “Friends’ Music” and now let’s look through what I can see.

I see that Aaron Roe Fulkerson, MindTouch’s Inc founder and CEO, listened to Toad the Wet Sprocket. I bet he didn’t quite realize that I’d be able to see that a week ago.

I see that Adrian Otto, chief of research at the Rackspace Cloud (where I work at), listens to Kenny G. I bet he didn’t quite realize that I’d be able to see that a week ago. Aside: Kenny G, really dude? Heheh.

I see that Alan Cooper, father of Visual Basic, and head of a famous software design studio that bears his name, listens to the Barenaked Ladies. I bet he didn’t quite realize that I’d be able to see that a week ago.

Should I keep going? I have 1,300 friends over on Facebook and a lot of them use Pandora.

To me this is freaking awesome. I have found more music in the past week than I’ve found in the past year.

Oh, yeah, and you can see my own account and see how my musical tastes are changing thanks to this new feature.

But, on the other hand, this new feature has heralded a new age where we move closer to the end of privacy.

While listening to music that now is shared by all my friends I’ve been reading thousands of words about how Facebook screwed its contract with us to keep our stuff private. Leer más “An inch closer to the end of privacy (thanks Facebook!)”

Idea: LinkedIn Recommendations for You As a Blogger


We all know that social media is very important. Especially as we move into 2009, I think people who know how to use social media will find themselves with a kind of social security blanket.

Picture 4 If you’re anything like me, you tend to forget about LinkedIn. I have a profile on the site (of course), but I don’t spend any time doing much of anything with it. Most of my time is spent on Twitter, Facebook or Friendfeed.

Some time ago, Louis Gray hit me up for a recommendation of him on LinkedIn. Louis Gray is a pretty prominent blogger in the social media space and definitely worth the read. What was interesting about this request, though, was that it was a recommendation of him as the author of his blog.

Novel idea! Why not treat your position as an author of your own blog as an actual position, and use LinkedIn to seek testimonials from your network?

Testimonials and recommendations are always good for your reputation. Not to mention that you can potentially use them for marketing purposes if the need ever arises.

Don’t discount LinkedIn (I’m speaking to myself here, too). Unlike the major contenders out there, LinkedIn revolves around your professional career. In this era of recession talk and job insecurity in some circles of the economy, updating and using your LinkedIn profile is a pretty good idea.

Vía http://www.davidrisley.com

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