Hey, startup: how to avoid becoming a victim of transformation

Hey, startup: how to avoid becoming a victim of transformation

13-May-2015 by Dr. Serhat Tatli

Industrialization, institutionalization, and corporate culture all left their king chair to entrepreneurial cores and micro labs. We talk less about stability and competitive advantage, but put much stress on creativity and disruptive innovation. We name any initiative as an outcome of this approach as a “startup”, simply because it is not only about business, but also about culture; a brand new way of perceiving, defining, creating, doing, and leading business.

So, once a startup initiative emerges, there are certain phases that it has to pass through and survive with an attached satisfactory value right after. So constructing a startup is not establishing a new business, but instead it is a “journey”. Unfortunately, this one is not similar to summer vacations or travelling around the world. This is a journey of transformation, pushing you to adapt, change, and re-adapt in a cyclical fashion. Before getting into this, let me point out very briefly the stages of this journey:

1- Idea Stage: This is the “I made it man!” stage. Above the clouds, as you know there is only sunshine, but outside is -40 degrees. You’d better think twice before having a sunbath.

2- Incubation Stage: This is the “Hugs & Kisses” stage. Yes, you find someone to take care of you and provide you with a warm space to fit in. Thanks to Maslow’s pyramide!

3- Acceleration stage: This is the “Wake up, practice time!” stage. Welcome to the training mode, where you really face the outside temperature. Intensive learning experience and beyond. This is the key stage for the sake of your future performance.

4- Execution Stage: This is the “Rehersal is over, now time to perform!” stage. You will be tested, graded, re-tested if needed, and finally considered as a failure or success.

5- Venture Stage: This is the “Congrats for pushing hard, time to push harder!” stage. Now it is not only about executing the current business but also growing it aggressively to an eye-catching scale.

6- Capitilization Stage: This is the “Would you also like to taste?” stage. If the first 5 stages are well-performed enough, it will not be very difficult to find a “Wall Street Style” companion to share your Michelin cuisine.

7- Celebration Stage: This is the “Around the world in 80 days” stage. I think nobody needs further explanation about that.. 🙂

8- Serial Entrepreneur Stage: This is the “What’s next?” stage starting on day 81. What an exciting and inspiring stage to live through..!

So far so good. However, statistics reveal that only 1 in 20000 innovative ideas reach up to a billion USD scale. Everywhere we hear stories and lessons learned about that jackpot winning guy. About the 19999, nobody spends minute on them. Surely, the only criteria is not being a member of billionaires club, and millions are mostly welcome. Here, the fact is that the majority of these great ideas fail to succeed and become the victims of transformation.

You know why they fail? You can count hundreds of items as an answer, but believe me there is one and only main reason and that is far beyond the financial aspect of the business: they need support in a comprehensive manner. Unfortunately they underestimate the importance and necessity of this fact. Eventually, either they try to make themselves and ignore the must-have disciplined support, or they make a wrong decision in selecting to choose the right supporter. As a mentor of Startupbootcamp Istanbul, I might say this is what we try to secure as a whole team, not only as “Europe’s Best Accelerator”, but also your side seat colleague throughout your transformation journey.