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The Soul of the Startup

Written by Daanish Khan

The Concept of “the Startup Soul” is best explained as the intrinsic motivation (passion) at the start and present all the way through every life cycle of the product and the venture. Team spirit, client interest, and your own inner calling and purpose driving the business need to feel this soul. Here again the 4 P’s of Start Up Success are prominent: Passion, purpose, performance, and perseverance.

Startups are born out of passion and that translates into the soul of the organization. It’s this soul that defines the vision, mission and business roadmaps. Most startups usually fail due to a lack of discipline and rigid managerial processes, and it is this fear that often puts the “Startup Soul” aside. Management strategies and controlling are the lifeblood of any business but should never kill the business’s primary objectives. Deviating from the underlying purpose is another threat for a startup or any other established business.

The purpose of starting a business in the first place is to solve an existing problem or achieve a particular goal. The primary motive behind any business is to earn a profit by focusing on an activity, direction, or a line of trade. Making a profit by working in a specific sector or doing the defined activities is a prime objective of a business. All of these are known facts, but the one thing that truly drives a business is the passion of the people, its founders. This is where the soul of the startup is found, and born. A startup can lose its entrepreneurial spirit if it compromises its Startup soul for profit.

Save the “Startup Soul.”

As businesses grow, a natural shift occurs from the original business objective to performance. The procedural administration and conduct of business activities start taking prime place in the minds of leaders, and employees. Must profit mentality !
Perseverance is what takes a startup to a scalable business to strategic and sustainable success. The underlying belief of the entrepreneurial spirit fueled by passion, rooted in purpose with dedicated determination (performance) are all critical ingredients in a startup’s soul.

Why the “Soul” can never die

The soul NEVER can die. The “startup soul” dies when it does not follow the essential passion, purpose and philosophy behind the startup. The drive for growth in sales diverts the focus from creative innovation to performance. Rules start to draft to maintain discipline, milestones and deliverables, at the cost of barring team creativity and innovation. This deliverance takes over the business and the needs and demands of the existing customers become priority. Employees start following job descriptions, routines, and customers start looking for substitutes. Leadership attitude then silently puts a bar on creativity and innovation. These are the death signs for a “Soul” of a startup and can lead to trouble for the organization. To keep the soul burning, allow passion, purpose and performance based innovation initiatives to flow through the teams from C Level to vendors and customers.

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