I read an interesting post on Techcrunch about the overall feedback on companies which presented at Techcrunch50 this year. One paragraph which really stood out was:
“Start-ups by definition don’t have the experience, market position, funding or resources to tackle obvious market opportunities. If what they’re trying to do makes clear business sense, a bigger, better-positioned company would do it. A start-up’s only edge is that it’s not built into legacy businesses and preconceived notions and can do something, well, crazy.”
I agree with the statement to a certain extent. Startups and entrepreneurs are often the ones at the helm of innovation. It is all about breaking the mold and going down the path less traveled. At the same time, there are a lot of opportunities available where bigger well positioned companies are just not bothered or pushed to enter. Take for example the very recent news of Mint being acquired by Intuit. Mint entered the personal finance space where Intuit had clearly made inroads, but had left a lot to be desired. In comes Mint who adapts to the current market situation and requirements, and soon they have over a million users registered on their site. Intuit could have entered this space and been aggressive, but it didn’t. This lack of initiative and complacency by larger companies is taken advantage of, time and time again by start-ups. Even though they do not end up changing the world, they do leave the world a better place to be in.
In conclusion, I don’t think that a start-up’s only edge is a lack of bureaucratic layers and controls. It is on the other hand, their flexibility and nimbleness which provides them with the ability to continuously weave and dodge the punches from larger organizations. When vulnerabilities are exposed by larger entities, that is when they take advantage of the situation. This does not mean that we abandon all crazy and adventurous ideas and notions and stick only with the tried and tested paths and markets. It is actually the merging of these two different approaches which provides start-ups with the ability to truly make a difference.