Startups Are Too Focused on Funding; They Need a New Narrative

May 17, 2016

11:45 am

The startup world has been undergoing some major changes over the last few months. From refinancing much of the industry to promote long-term success and securing VC and investor support, there’s a push for more transparency and seriousness behind driving tangible change for startups. But still, the culture behind many startups is still rooted in myth: many startups still prioritize achieving unicorn-status; they want to be the next big thing that will end the need for other startups.

This narrative, though, is harmful. Until we have a complete cultural shift, we can’t truly have a new wave of successful startups. In a recent blog post written by Startups.co founder and CEO, Wil Schroter, he shares what this narrative is and why it needs to be overhauled:

“While that myth has inspired many to go start their own startups (something we love) it’s also led countless startups off of a cliff Wyle E. Coyote style.

Why?

Because what we’re reading about in these pop culture myths are rarely the true story of entrepreneurship. They’re the auto-tuned version. They’re the version told by people who are almost never the Founders themselves.”

The fallacy of chasing superficial goals like fame and fortune are nice, but having them rooted at the core of a startup’s mission is setting many startups on the wrong foot. Sustainable goals and missions rightfully fuel the long-term success that many startups seek, and they’re the biggest ingredient missing from this current landscape.

Schroter continues:

“In a world that’s become defined by big funding and big exits, we’ve lost touch with the stuff that matters: building products we love at companies that matter to the people who work there.

As Founders, we need to recalibrate. We need to start focusing on stuff that matters to Founders, not the outside world. We need a new narrative.”

For startups to find success, they need to diver deeper than the surface. They need to build tools and products that consumers respond to, but they also need to take a hard look at what drives us at our core. How can they make their goals more sustainable and inclusive to the world that we interact in? How do they include the biggest benefits for others? That is what will lead the new bunch of startups to finding success in the industry.

Read more about what Wil Schroter has to say about how startups can form these new narratives. Schroter recently spoke at Columbus Startup Week and shared this similar advice for startups.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to cameron@tech.co or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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