May 27, 2014
It’s all too common for technology-focused entrepreneurs to forget that not every “startup” is a “tech company.” I know that when I personally hear the word “startup,” I often wrongly assume the company is centered around developing an application, a platform, or perhaps a service heavily supported by technology. What’s worse, is that some people assume that without a deep integration with tech, a startup cannot be successful; especially if that integration isn’t “disrupting” something.
I was recently reminded that these startup stereotypes are utter nonsense when Birdling Bags launched their new boutique line of weekend family bags centered around keeping moms organized on-the-go, while remaining fashionable. Ok… I’m sure you’re wondering why a manly tech nerd like myself is writing about a mommy startup, but step outside our little tech world for just a moment and consider what co-founders Courtney Reenstra and Meagan Coomber have created without anything tech-focused, beyond that of a custom shopify website.
Courtney and Meagan did not attend a local startup weekend or hackathon; they simply got together and decided they were going to make something to fix an issue that frustrated them as young mothers. Also consider that neither of them have an extensive background in physical product development or manufacturing, but they were both willing to learn and do whatever it took to make Birdling Bags a reality. They are now responsible for the successful launch of a unique brand and physical product that they designed. This, in my opinion, is the definition of entrepreneurship.
It often feels like startups are born and disappear by the dozen each day. I suppose that is the expected nature of startup eco-systems: “Fail fast,” and all that. Birdling Bags is a different kind of startup. It’s one that you’d like to think of as a long-term investment by its co-founders that will be around for a very long time. They’ll likely never “pivot” or “pitch” a panel of rockstar angel investors, because they won’t need to. Birdling Bags is what startups were before it became cool to have a startup, and Courtney and Meagan are what entrepreneurs were before the barrier to entry for becoming one became so low. I think we tech-minded entrepreneurs could learn a lot from Courtney and Meagan, even if it’s only that tech is not everything when it comes to entrepreneurship.
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