StartUp Founders: When Are You No Longer A StartUp? Here’s The Key Indicator You Need to Know

In this article, I'll share my perspective as a startup consultant on the key indicator that signifies the end of the startup phase.

As the startup industry has evolved, so has the definition of what it means to no longer be a startup. Traditionally, the goal of a startup was to quickly achieve profitability and become self-sustaining. However, with the rise of venture capital, startups are now encouraged to scale rapidly, even at a loss per user, with the hope of achieving profitability later on.

While this may be a successful model for companies like Uber, Postmates, and DoorDash, it doesn’t work for every startup. As a startup consultant, I believe that a company is no longer a startup when it can self-sustain without outside investment. This means that it has proven its economic model and can meet profitability.

It’s important to note that this definition of when a company is no longer a startup is based on the idea of product-market-price fit. Until a company can achieve this fit and prove that its business model is sustainable, it can’t be considered anything other than a startup. This is because, as I mentioned before, the goal of a startup is to achieve profitability and self-sustainability.

As industry luminary Mark Cuban once said, “Sales cure all.” This means that until a startup can generate enough revenue to support itself, it will always be a startup. That’s why I believe that the ability to self-sustain without outside investment is the key indicator of when a company is no longer a startup.

Of course, this is just my opinion, and I’m interested in hearing what others think. As the startup industry continues to evolve, so will the definition of what it means to be a startup. But for now, the ability to self-sustain is a clear sign that a company has moved beyond the startup phase and is on its way to becoming a successful business.

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