Time for a list! When I was in magazines and we'd be working on covers, we'd feature a Top Ten story or a Top 5 Best Things! The numbers were always deliberate, never random. I retweeted a blog post the other day about the top 20 things to include on your LinkedIn profile. 20! Useful article but not a great headline. So to make a short story long, seven's a funny number for a 'listicle' but I couldn't cut it down to five or stretch it to 10.
My top 7 things I love about startups includes:
1] The positive attitudes. It's all about building suff. It's about solutions and opportunity. Working with startups is about enabling the 'yes.'
2] Permission to ask why. Something inside me still makes me ask why all the time. The startup community has no magic age that you're not allowed to ask anymore. Though you are expected to have a few answers.
3] Generosity of ideas. This is a community that doesn't care where good ideas come from. It takes a lot of work to execute well on an idea so people share ideas and feedback freely to get another perspective and help each other. How can I/we help you? is an honest question you hear.
4] Open minds. Startup people are more receptive, more likely to say, oh really? Cool! Who's that for? What does it do? How? Not just entrepreneurs and the people building startups but the whole support community, which includes some bold face names. There's an appetite for things that don't already exist.
5] The collaboration. Great lessons learned from people working together on the same side, each bringing a unique, valued perspective or expertise. The shared goals for positive outcomes. Impatience, disagreeing and worrying is fine. Anger and adversarial confrontation, I just don't see so much.
6] The innovating. This kind of innovation sort of hooks you in. Everyone comes up with good ideas to help advance something. And we're all constantly learning, which makes it so fun.
7] The impact. It's so rewarding to help a startup launch, develop a campaign concept, deal with a crisis, do an introduction or offer up some new options. We're all entrepreneurs, advisors, whatever and we all say thank you and mean it.
Now it's not all Pollyanna with dreamy people all nonstop happy and bubbly. There's a lot of work, a whole lot of stress, missed sleep, meals and social life that entrepreneurs have to manage. And there are certainly the frustrations and roadblocks of funding and revenue. Still, it's an awesome community that's feeding the future and it just makes me so lucky to be part of it.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every great brand that's making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.