From The Jeff Pulver Blog
Startups in 2009: Time for a NEW Kind of Entrepreneur
After reading the recent TechCruch story: “Oy Vey! Israeli VCs Exceptionally Gloomy on 2009, I feel it is necessary to share another side of the Israeli Hi-Tech business scene. I am not suggesting that times are great at the moment, but they are not as bad as one might think after reading the Deloitte report.
In reality, regardless of the state of the economy, people continue to get inspired and technology innovation will continue to happen. This in turn leads to the launch of a new startup.
When times are great, there is usually money available to fund all sorts of Hi-Tech startups. And when things are not so great, raising money is much harder. The worldwide economic funk of 2008 is responsible for an emerging trend in the Hi-Tech startup world I first saw in Israel in 2008 which has resulted in what I can only describe as the birth of the “NEW Entrepreneur.”
The NEW Entrepreneur is someone who has a decided to “do a startup” by partnering with one or more of their friends who understand the concept of bootstrapping from the very beginning. The startup team are people who watch each other’s back, are aware of their individual strengths and weaknesses and in effect are there to provide a sense of balance for each other. These new Entrepreneurs understand that they can’t rely on outside funding to get their company started so they need to do whatever is necessary to make their vision and dreams come true on their own.
The NEW Entrepreneurs know how to turn pennies into dollars and a dollar into a hundred dollars. For the record, such people exist and have been doing just this in the Israeli Hi-Tech scene. During 2008 I had a chance to meet up with quite a number of these NEW Entrepreneurs.
NEW Startups realize they can’t start a business that will have a high burn rate or a strong dependency on outside money. They realize that whatever money they may be able to raise from their friends and immediate family members might be the only money they will be able to raise for the foreseeable future. So startups in 2009 may look a lot different than in previous years. What I am seeing starting to emerge are “lean and mean” startups from the very beginning. It turns out that while the economy may not be in everyone’s favor, thanks to the continuing affects of Moore’s Law and the sheer disruptive power of the Internet, it is possible to start companies these days with just raw talent, vision and the innate ability to deliver on the vision.
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Picture: Jeff Pulver at “US-Israel Web 2.0 Business Exchange” in Atlanta (September 2008)