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– Alan Noble, head of engineering Google
“A startup isn't a business yet. It's a guess that if you build X product that Y customer will value it. When that changes from a guess to a reality, you're a business. For a new business, they already know the product is valued by customers, it's just a question of whether they can find enough of them and deliver it efficiently.”
– Mick Liubinskas, entrepreneur in residence Muru-D
“A startup is a temporary organisation that is still discovering its purpose and intends to grow very large when it finds it. A small business knows what it is and will probably stay comfortably small forever.
“For example, YouTube was a dating site in its days as a startup but discovered it needed to be a video-sharing product. When it knew this, and understood how to make money, it ceased to be a startup and began scaling. In contrast, a web development agency has a well-understood business model that can immediately be executed. But it is unlikely to be a massive business.”
– Phil Morle, CEO Pollenizer
“Startups are high-growth, high-risk ventures that set out to find a scalable business model in a large market. They almost always have a strong technology component in order to facilitate the ambitions of rapid growth. At the very beginning of a startup, it is usually unclear who the customer is and how they will obtain value from the product.
“Over time, startups have the capacity to make economic and cultural contributions that are disproportionate to their modest beginnings.”
– Scott Handsaker, co-founder Startup Victoria