Do you remember that feeling when you have a brilliant idea? You tell it to your friends; they love it and say that you need to launch a startup. Well, some people actually do it. How is a startup different from a small business? What is the way from an idea to a working business model? Is there any chance and what are the overall statistics?

Let’s find out.


A startup is a temporary structure that needs investments to implement its business idea into a ready-made unique product or service, as well as further scaling, entering the market and transforming it into a full-fledged business.


  1. 90% of startups fail, and 10% fail within the first year of their existence.
  2. 137,000 startups a day, or 50 million new companies a year is the pace of small businesses entering the global market. In total, 305 million startups work in different sectors of the global economy.
  3. 77% of startups in the world are created on the personal savings of company founders.
  4. 42% of startups fail due to a lack of understanding of market demand and 29% due to lack of funding.
  5. 13.5% of all global startup deals are in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
  6. Technology businesses in the United States are most often launched at 39 years old, and the average age of the founders of successful startups is 45 years old.
  7. 60% of US entrepreneurs name artificial intelligence the most promising technology for investment.
  8. 48% of the global AI startup market belongs to China. The PRC, which has become the largest investor in the field of artificial intelligence, owns about 1.5 thousand companies engaged in AI research.
  9. $1 billion in company valuation is the goal of any startup that dreams of becoming a unicorn.
  10. 1% of startups have a real chance of becoming unicorns, like Uber, Airbnb or Slack.


Before you rush to Kickstarter with your ideas let’s define the difference between startup and a small business.


A startup aims to conquer the market. For startups, scaling and fast development are very important. Small business is focused primarily on income. Scaling and conquering the market may not be interesting for it at all.


A startup idea is an innovative product or service that is not yet on the market. Small business is rarely associated with innovation.


To start a small business, people use savings or credit funds. Launching a startup, normally, requires a lot of investment. Therefore, for financing, startups turn to venture funds, business angels, investors and register on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter.


Small businesses owners can make a profit from the very first day. A startup may have its first income in a couple of years, since creating a new product, launching it on the market and scaling takes time.


The life cycle is a path describing the stages of startup development, starting from an idea and ending with a full-fledged business. A startup can have from four to eight stages. These are the five main stages of a startup by Morgan Brown, co-inventor of the Hacking Growth approach.

  • Defining the problem and the solution (Problem/Solution Fit)

At this stage, it is necessary to clearly articulate the problem and answer whether it can be effectively solved with the help of a startup idea. If so, the future product has a chance. To implement this stage, you create a hypothesis, analyze the market, test demand, and study the target audience using problem interviews. To attract investors and first loyal users, you create a landing page and launch a project on a crowdfunding platform.

  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

At this stage, you should have a version of the product allowing, with minimal investment, to solve the problem of the target audience. MVP helps validate demand and gather feedback from early adopters.

  • Product-market fit (PMF)

At this stage, you examine how the product meets the needs and interests of potential customers. The main PMF metric is the retention rate. The higher it is, the better. In addition to tracking this indicator, you collect feedback from users, study customer satisfaction (CSI) and measure the consumer loyalty index (NPS).

  • Scaling

At this stage, you should know which channels work, where are the weaknesses and what steps need to be taken to attract new customers and increase profits.

  • Maturity

This is where your startup should be confidently standing on its own feet. Now it is time to strengthen your positions, enter new markets and continue to invest in the development of your company and its products.


Coming up with a brilliant idea for a startup is not even half the battle, but only the first step. Next, you need to make a titanic effort to plan a project, assemble a team, find investors and enter the market.

Unfortunately, according to statistics, 92% of startups die. Premature scaling, lack of a valid business model, disagreements in the team, lack of funds – are among of the most common reasons for failure.

Want your startup anyway? Well, then be sure to check out the free international platforms for its promotion – you can start with Indiegogo and Kickstarter.