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perspective

Is ‘start-up’ trend growing too fast and cluelessly?


Surveys discover misguided new entrepreneurs and spending-spree

In today’s business world, one of the most dangerous things is to assume that you know the technology and its direction for certain. The phenomenal rise of the “start-up” trend, however, seems to have a lot to do with assumed technological visions of young entrepreneurs, which is quite a risky situation. Analysts have pointed to misguided assumption as the main reason why the new breed of businesses, which are compact and embrace revolutionary operating and management styles, are running into one big snag after another.
The year 2016 was originally tipped as the year when start-up businesses would bloom. The prediction was correct in a way, because many daring young entrepreneurs emerged to challenge the conventional empires or organisations, largely by utilising the greater availability of technology as well as technology-facilitated networks. But insufficient funding, clueless spending, misreading of the markets and technological advances, and ever-changing enthusiasms of the founders have apparently proved to be their downfalls. In addition, many in the start-up landscape know how to invent but do not know how to sell.
“Start-up” is a noble idea that encourages a breakaway from the omnipresent concept of big corporations. The idea, which takes advantage of the “smaller world” where everything about doing businesses is easier, has been hailed as something that could radically change the world economy. In fact, the overriding principles of start-ups have given birth to many digital innovations that have already changed the way we live. The exponential growth of social media and digital technology have escalated this new business concept, which everyone hoped would spread wealth, know-how and opportunities.
But fighting the status quo is never easy. While it may take just a couple of brilliant minds to innovate something, selling it is a completely different story. This is where big companies have a major advantage.
Add to that, start-up entrepreneurs – if they are not careful – can fall into the same trap as certain big corporations. They can misread the technology. In other words, they can be outpaced by technology like older businesspeople.
Fast-evolving technology can be your friends when it enables you to do with a couple of men what big firms used to do with a dozen workers. But the technology can turn on you when it produces a new thing that makes your own methods or products simply outdated.
However, one fascinating thing about start-ups is that failure is not shocking or devastating as far as the “big picture” is concerned. When a big company fails, shock waves spread. When a start-up collapses, people shrug it off. Even some owners shrug it off and quickly start anew.
That is the bright side. On the other hand, nobody could tell the mass of entrepreneurial wannabes to slow down. Technology, pushing in every direction, needs to be watched a little more, or many early birds can die early.
The challenge for everybody is simple. Start-up is a good business concept, as it provides greater opportunities and encourages more far-reaching creativity than conventional businesses, but parties involved must think it through before going “all in”. The government needs to make sure it “facilitates” the right people with the right mindset and preparations whereas aspirants can aim high but shoot where it counts.
A start-up must not fall into the “too fast to live; too young to die” category. 
The status quo will fight tooth and nail the looming change and try to keep “Big fish eat small fish” as the name of the game. Start-up advocates have that battle to look forward to, but, more importantly perhaps, they must strike a balance between being conventionally careful and revolutionarily daring.

Published : December 18, 2016

By : The Nation