Us vs. The World Mentality. Every startup feels like they are taking on the world. They don’t have one, single, identifiable competitor to focus on — they have to beat out everyone. Because of this, they work harder and with more urgency than anyone else. They don’t feel complacent with their market share, because they don’t have any.

Something to Prove. Every startup knows they have something to prove. Whether it’s to their investors, their board, their customers, or their friends and family, they have to prove something to someone. They don’t have a name or reputation to rest their laurels on — they have to build it.

Reachability. Want to get in touch with the CEO of a startup? Send him an email. You’ll almost definitely get a reply. Want to get in touch with a upper-level manager at any Fortune 500 company? Shoot him an email. You probably won’t hear back. There’s something to be said about being available to those that take the time to reach out to you. Obviously, there’s a line to be drawn at some point; this can only be taken so far. Steve Jobs can’t afford to respond to every email that’s sent to is entirely-public email address — but, he has one.

Personal Investment. Every startup has an investment from its founders. Whether it be time, money, or resources (likely all of the above), they made a personal investment into their venture and they have something (sometimes everything) to lose if it tanks. They can’t afford to adopt the “salary mindset” — their company has to grow and be successful for them to see returns on their investments. If growth is stagnant, slow, or non-existent, they lose.

Future Market Leader Mindset. Every startup thinks they can be the next Google. They whole-heartedly believe that they can be the market leader, and that they have what it takes to get there. I’ve never heard the founders of a startup saying “well, we hope to have some market share one day.” They believe they can go to the top, and they work with the drive, determination, confidence and swagger of  knowing they are going to get there.


Photo Credit: TexasGurl via Flickr

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