Can Tech Startup Schools Teach #TheNextBigThing?

BY Hari Sreenivasan  November 22, 2011 at 6:31 PM EST

Depending on where you live, the word startup has different connotations. For some, it means embarking on an adventure filled with unknown risk and ending in likely peril; for others, like those in our story on Tuesday’s NewsHour broadcast, it’s just what is: a reality few others can understand.

Very few of the technology startups that came to define the dot-com boom of the mid-’90s are still standing today: They are part of the truism that most startups fail. What’s interesting about entrepreneurs is their self-belief, their vision that the thing they are building solves a problem, that the world will frankly be less interesting without their solution.

A recent Kauffman Foundation study of Census data pointed out that new firms are responsible for 3 million jobs in their first year, and existing firms are responsible for losing a million jobs. How and why they fail is being studied closely by the Startup Genome project, which is tracking more than 15,000 startups around the world. Getting too big too fast, and doing something your customers didn’t ask for or need, is called premature scaling.


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Images by Garry Tan

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Many thanks to: Angelpad, TechStars, Vivek Wadhwa, Wade Roush, Blackbox Ventures and to our friends and co-producers at KQED. Crispin Lopez and Chris Bauer produced the pieces; Justin Scuiletti edited the online extras.

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