2

I see the phrase "started a start-up company" more and more these days, and feel that it is redundant, and the speaker is ignorant or using stock phrases without thinking. Any company we start would always be a start-up, right ?

Would "started a company" mean the exactly same ? I mean, it is not like we can start a well-established decade-old company, right ?

  • Use "founded" instead of "started" there. – Robusto Oct 21 '15 at 17:06
  • Well , even "founded a start-up company" is redundant , while "founded a company" is good enough. – Prem Oct 21 '15 at 17:08
  • "start-up" just means "new". – user140086 Oct 21 '15 at 17:14
  • 2
    Note that all implicit semi-redundancies do not need to be resolved. There is nothing inherently wrong with starting a start-up, shooting a shot, or drinking a drink. – Robusto Oct 21 '15 at 17:37
  • 1
    I liked your question and the options you decided to go with. +1 It even generated the following possibility for a future question: "Does 'investing in a mature start-up' contain an oxymoron?" – Papa Poule Oct 21 '15 at 18:14
4

I hear what people say, but start-up company has a particular meaning, that is a little more than simply a company which gets started.

For that reason I think you should retain start-up company.

But you could perhaps say He/She began/initiated a start-up company or ...was responsible for a start-up company.

However the latter does not necessarily mean they were there at the very beginning.

  • 1
    As per WordWeb , "start-up" == "A new business" , while en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company shows many (non-standard) Definitions of start-up. I think you have a point about particular meanings, +1 , but many people (in general) do not know about those particular meanings, and use "start-up" as a stock phrase to mean "new", in which case it is redundant. When I have to use such a phrase, I will use your advice about "initiated" or "founded" (courtesy of @Robusto) and atleast avoid the glaring redundancy. – Prem Oct 21 '15 at 17:32
2

Any company we start would always be a start-up, right? Would "started a company" mean the exactly same?

Not necessarily. There's quite a number of definitions:

start-up: a new small company or business, especially one whose work involves computers or the Internet (Longman)

Wikipedia has an insightful section about this very topic. Here are some definitions:

A company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.

According to this definition, if you start a restaurant (where the business model is well-known, so no need to search for it), you are not founding a start-up.

Another definition:

A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of "exit". The only essential thing is growth.

A recently started small "mom-and-pop" store that has no plans to conquer the world would probably not fit this definition.

There are more definitions, and not every new company would be a start-up according to all (and, I think, most) of them.

So when people say that someone started a start-up, they most likely mean a new, ambitious, trailblazing (possibly, tech) company that's trying to disrupt the market and grow super fast.

Edit: It's been suggested by others that "started a start-up" is somewhat tautological, and I tend to agree. At least in writing, I'd prefer "He founded a start-up" or similar.

  • +1 , but [[ forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2013/12/16/what-is-a-startup : “startup” has been bandied around with increasing frequency . . . .Those who sip the startup Kool-Aid define it as a culture and mentality of innovating on existing ideas to solve critical pain points . . . “Startup is a state of mind,” . . . According to Merriam-Webster, start-up means “a fledgling business enterprise.” . . . Therein lies the rub – to be a startup, you must have set up shop recently. ]] Beyond all these non-standard (non-consistent) Definitions , start-up means new , to most folks. – Prem Oct 21 '15 at 17:42
  • I agree in that being recently founded is essential, but not sufficient for many definitions of the word "start-up". But yeah, therein lies the rub. No argument there. – A.P. Oct 21 '15 at 17:45
0

very good detailed breakdown @A.P., I also hear much usage of "start-up/startup" in reference to a phase of a company (i.e. Our company is in startup mode)... it seems more connected to a period in a company's history, rather than a "type" of company.

But yes, @Prem, I believe "I founded a company" is the correct way of phrasing the idea without redundancy..

  • I think you were not able to comment on the answer by @AP because of shortage of reputation points , so +1 from me , for the insight about "history" rather than "type". – Prem Oct 22 '15 at 17:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.