Syed asked last week whether we were entering the TechCrunch Battlefield event for Sydney.
"No. Should we???" I texted.
I have been reluctant about participating in startup culture since the beginning. I find there is something uncomfortable about treating a business differently because it is not yet mature. As if we can pretend that the rules of the world do not apply to baby businesses, or as if startups can somehow be excused from profitability or sensibility because "we are just a startup". The "startup" label has been abused by the few to the detriment of the many.
Of course, it is unfair to paint everyone with the same brush. There are plenty of sensible startup businesses out there. I think the problem is that people have mistakenly come to believe the specific strengths of the startup structure, the ability to experiment and their agility, are the only indicia for a successful startup business. It seems they forget that a business should make sense in spite of their size, rather than because of their size.
After some consideration, I spent the last day writing our application for the Startup Battlefield.
I don't know if this is a great idea overall. The upside potential is huge, but comes with its own technical challenges. The downside potential is also huge, with the likes of Google, Facebook, Snap, AirBNB and others ready to pivot into our market at any time. Worst for my ego, we may not even make the shortlist of the finalists. Then I remembered the true strengths of startup culture - courage, experimentation and speed - if we are going to be crushed, let's do that fast.