The Curious Case of the Startup Turned Enterprise   

Company culture

Every startup founder has a vision of taking their idea and growing it into a full-fledged company, whose name or offerings are known worldwide.

Though it’s an extreme accomplishment, the startups that do in fact “make it” and evolve into enterprises, often struggle to acknowledge their new enterprise state. They struggle to accept their new status, not because they aren’t a rightful enterprise, but because they do not embody the classic culture of traditional enterprises (nor do they want to).

These new-age startups-turned-enterprises bring with them more than just ping pong tables and PlayStation’s; they bring a new kind of enterprise culture. A culture that embodies startup values while showcasing the strategies, growth, and longevity of traditional corporations.  

It All Starts With a Mission

Mission statements, which embody the goals and values of an enterprise, offer insight into the differentiation between new-age startups that transitioned into enterprises and the classic corporations that once ruled Wall Street.

New-age Enterprises, much like the smaller startups that they once were, hold the belief that their product or solution will change the world. Their goal is often to revolutionize and transform existing industries and make the whole world better. As a result, their mission statements are often grand. They talk about the global community and the big picture, seeing their contribution as a crucial piece of the puzzle.

The startup-turned-enterprise poster child, Mark Zuckerberg, strengthened the notion that the modern mission statement must be holistic when he released the new Facebook mission statement this past February saying:  

“The most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop a social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”  

This is a clear difference from the mission statements of traditional corporations, which solely focus on their offering. McDonald’s simply lists “Good Food” as their first ambition and automotive giant Ford states that their vision is “to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.”  

Both of these traditional enterprises show that their mission and what drives them forward is their product. While that does not mean that new-age enterprises do not care about their solution, it simply shows that their mission for the company transcends their solution.

The Backbone of the Business

Beyond having distinctly different mission statements and driving forces, new-age enterprises and traditional corporations have an entirely different outlook on the types of people they hire. They have different opinions on the people they believe serve as the backbone of their business and are necessary in order to grow.Startup turned enterprise, New-age enterprise

Traditional corporations have a history of valuing employees with strong connections to their family and community. The reason for this stems deeper than a desire for an employee to have a healthy family life, but rather the belief that the commitment one makes to their family signals their ability to make a commitment to their company. Furthermore, an employee who has a family, responsibilities, and commitments is dependent on their salary and traditionally will seek a position that is stable and secure, making way for a mutually beneficial partnership for both the employee and the corporation.

Modern enterprises on the other hand, tend to seek immediate results and often have shorter employee lifecycles. In his famous expose about the inbound marketing platform HubSpot, best selling author and columnist, Dan Lyons, discusses this issue at length. He talks about quick and abrupt “graduation” of employees who are there one day and gone the next, and the alarmingly young (and cheap) work force behind today’s multi-million dollar enterprises.

The reason these companies appeal to younger employees is largely because of their grand mission statements and “change the world” attitudes – a dream young employees want to be a part of. 

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Acceptance of Innovation

Startup turned enterprise, New-age enterpriseWhile the mission statement and the type of employees that enterprises choose for themselves say a great deal about whether they operate as traditional or new-age, the most telling difference is the way in which they view innovation.

Since new-age enterprises often emerged onto the enterprise scene by disrupting the existing market, they tend to adapt new technology eagerly, recognizing that their dominance in their vertical is largely dependent on their ability to continue leading their field. As a result, these enterprises create proof-of-concept opportunities and run these pilots with startups as part of their ongoing efforts to retain market share.

Old-school enterprises on the other hand, particularly B2B enterprises, are slower adopters of the notion that external innovation can bring large scale success, with the traditional belief of, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Despite this aversion to change, many traditional enterprises have woken up and realized that they are losing market share due to lack of innovation. They have started seeking new ways to innovate and differentiate their product. For these companies, the prooV platform is particularly beneficial (we won’t brag, just contact us if you want more information about how to easily run proof-of-concepts).

The Next New-Age Enterprises

Today, startups that have succeeded are the new-age enterprises, however in years to come, the startups of today will undoubtedly seek to replace these giants and take over the scene, making for an interesting corporate landscape.

One thing remains certain – innovation will be a driving force behind the success of startups and enterprises to come.  

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