Why I hate startup-mania August 27, 2012 cliffski I read a lot about ‘startups’, and see the term used everywhere. it’s especially common for tech or internet companies, where people seem to use ‘startup’ as an interchangeable term for company. The obsession with startups implies that new, young, unproven businesses are where all the value is. The accepted business model seems to be that a business is a ‘startup’ for a year or so, then gets acquired Entrepreneurs often talk about their ‘exit strategy’. I’m very old fashioned in this respect because I believe that your exit strategy should be retirement. In other words, you should build your business to last. Your five or ten year plan should envisage your business still existing. Maybe bigger, maybe much bigger, but not bought out by some megacorp. This implication that startups are sexy, but established businesses are dull encourages incredibly short-term thinking. People don’t care if their business has a firm foundation or if it makes a profit, or will ever be sustainable. They just need to keep paying the bills long enough for some big company to buy them out, then they don’t care what happens. The rumor is that people working at onlive knew they were losing money but thought it would be ok because they could raise more money or get bought out. It never occurs to people to build long term sustainable businesses that produce profitable products.