The age of the tech startup
About 540M years ago something amazing happened on planet Earth: life forms began to multiply, leading to what is known as the “Cambrian explosion”. Until then sponges and other simple creatures had the planet largely to themselves, but within a few million years the animal kingdom became much more varied. […] Something similar is now happening in the virtual realm: an entrepreneurial explosion. Digital startups are bubbling up in an astonishing variety of services and products, penetrating every nook and cranny of the economy. They are reshaping entire industries and even changing the very notion of the firm.
The Economist [A Cambrian Moment 2014]
At this very moment, somewhere in the world, two programmers are sitting in a garage and creating our future, one line of code at a time. We are in the era of the high tech startup. Silicon Valley is leading the way, but every major city, from Boulder to London to Tel Aviv to Singapore, is trying to build its own startup hub. In the US alone, there are more than 1,000 Venture Capital firms and 2 million Angel Investors who collectively invest around $50 billion in young businesses each year [Hollas 2011]. In 2010, US entrepreneurs founded more than 30,000 new high-tech and communications technology companies [Hathaway 2013, 7], or nearly 4 new tech startups every hour of the day.
The startup revolution is here and in this article, I’ll explain why that’s something you’ll want to pay attention to talk about some of the things that make startups great and why you should consider joining one, or even starting your own. To keep the discussion honest, I’ll also confess to the things that make startups terrible and why they are not for everyone. But first, I’ll define what I mean by “tech startup” in this article , as the phrase can mean different things to different people.