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Why startup culture is old hat

Steve Sammartino, Australian entrepreneur, writer and Lego aficionado (he crowd-funded building a full-sized, working Lego car – as one does) has seen it all before when it comes to startups.

He got into business before he was 10, running an organic egg farm in the 1980s. Which may be why in a recent blog he claims the hot new start-up culture is just a reworked version of the old, boring, small business culture, plus “some terrific superlatives and rock-star billionaire game winners”.

Here’s the new-old lexicon, according to Sammartino.com: Startup culture is hot. Just like grunge music was in the early 1990s.

Anyone with a pair of ripped jeans in a dive bar was in a band. And now anyone with a wi-fi connection and a laptop is launching a start-up.

The simplest way to remind ourselves that everything is a remix is to kick it old school and see how our new startup words stack up:

• Pivot – used to be called adapting to the market.

• Iteration – used to be called a product improvement.

• MVP – used to be a prototype or a test market.

• Growth Hackers – used to be what marketers and sales people were called. • Truth North -used to be known as the single minded proposition.

• Runway – used to be known as the bank balance and how long we had left before going bust.

• Burn Rate – used to be a sign that this new business venture wasn’t going so well.

• Lean – used to be called doing things on a budget.

(Oh, The pyramids were the first lean startup….. those pyramids were meant to be big square blocks but they ran out of materials, and just went with the pyramids instead – turned out to be a killer feature.)

And if you’re still in doubt here’s my favourite culture remix right here: The original version of Nirvana song Come as you are, was actually this song called Eighties by Killing Joke.

One of the talented Idealog Team Content Producers made this post happen.

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