What Is A Top Startup? Part One

The journey to the top is full of so many challenges. Unfortunately not many startups are able to make it the top where they aimed for. A lot of ideas are being taken through the mill every day, but not many of them are able to make it out of the mill as refined companies or products. As a matter of fact not more than 10% of startups survive the journey or the process of building a company. A lot of experienced entrepreneurs have alluded to this. This is thought provoking for entrepreneurs. But the good news is that it does not deter entrepreneurs from trying. New startups are springing up every day and that is a good sign.
My question is: what is a top startup or better still Who gets to be called a top startup. Why would one startup be featured on techcrunch, venturebeat, gigaom, or readwriteweb and others do not even get to be mentioned in passing in a post. What must startup achieve to get to such status. Is it the customers or clients they have, the revenues coming in, a feature on techcrunch, an acquisition, an IPO, an Award, a nomination, funding, your location, traffic generated, the idea you solve or must you solve a global(social, economic) problem.

How Many Clients Do You Have?
Startups have different objectives and visions. They could or may be achieved at different times in the course of the year. Until a company publishes the number of clients they have it may be difficult to use that as a criteria. Bu in the case of a consumer company that depends on traffic or number of registered users, you can easily use that as a yardstick to say the company is climbing higher to the top. Foursquare.com is gaining popularity and its being mentioned all over the place. One of the reasons is possibly because the number of registered users is increasing at an amazing rate. So is foursquare a top startup. They may have been approached by the big guns for a possible acquisition or they will be approached later in future. Will that be a factor to comfortably say that foursquare is a top startup. Business to business(b2b) startups may not boast of user traction but they sometimes have the revenues and their investors may even be happy with their achievement, but they are not being mentioned on techcrunch enterprise. Of course not every company can be mentioned on a popular startup blog. So who makes the call to say one startup is successful over the other. Do you send your details to the popular blog and boast of your user traction over a period to enhance your marketing campaign or you allow them to find you?

What Is Your Annual Revenue
If you are a consumer startup, how long will it take before you can boast of the revenues. Sometimes it takes years. Twitter may not be getting the revenues as its expected of them, but they are at the top because they have the numbers(users). And the growth has been phenomenal. Maybe there is something else I don’t know. But they intent to make the BIG revenues soon. In the mean time they are closing all the doors that makes third parties tap some of the revenues. Salesforce is big, they are are focused on enterprises. They need the revenues. Businesses pay as they use the service. You can rightly say they are a top startup or better still top company because the revenues are streaming in and they have a lot clients. I don’t think they are popular just because you think they have the revenues.

Have You Been Featured On Techcrunch Yet?
A lot people will tend to think that when you have finally made it to techrunch, you are on the right path. techcrunch is doing great. A lot of startups are getting the exposure they need because they were featured on techcrunch. I bet Mike Arrington and his team receives a lot mails from startup founders or marketers singing the good songs of their startups and the wow products they have developed. But does that necessarily mean you are a top startup. Don’t get me wrong, being featured on techcrunch is a big deal. But I guess it does not end they journey.

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