Start-ups vs. Established Businesses

(Established) Businesses are all about 3 fundamental things:

  1. Production (be it building hardware, software or whatever),
  2. Operations (i.e. administration, human resources, management) and
  3. Marketing and Sales

Money is made in ONLY step 3 (Marketing and Sales). Operations is ONLY about moving (effectively and efficiently) from Stage 1 (production) to Stage 3 (Marketing and sales).

Start-ups are also quite similar but different in ONE key aspect from established businesses:

  1. Production,
  2. Operations, and
  3. Learning & Discovery (of customers & market)

The customers are unknown in start-ups and as Steve Blank in “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” asserts the emphasis for start-ups in early phases MUST be on Learning & Discovery (of your market, your customers, what problems they TRULY value and so on).

Only after a start-up has truly figured this one out, does it transit to Marketing and Sales.

Hazem Awad