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Start-up culture and/or customer focus

Get your start-up moving

You know something smells of ‘bubble’ when someone tells you, without a hint of irony, “I work for a 10 year old mobile start-up.”

‘Start-up culture’ is everywhere in London at the moment. One of its by-products is office space specifically targeting this category of companies. The photo above was taken near Kings Cross, an area transformed from seedy to civilised since the arrival of the Eurostar terminal a few years ago.

“I’m doing a start-up,” is something I hear frequently these days, and it worries me. It sounds rather similar to: “I’m doing a dotcom…” We all know how that ended.

The issue here is not start-ups per-say, but rather the misunderstanding that being a start-up is anything other than the means to an end of providing good customer experience. New businesses providing new things are great for customers. New businesses created to fit the mould of ‘start-up’ culture, however, will rarely find themselves aligned with what users really want want.

If someone asks you what you do and the reply is: “A start-up,” it could be time to re-consider. Customers don’t buy the lifecycle stage of a company, they buy its products and services.

1 comment - join the debate

  1. Marek Pawlowski replied:

    As if on cue, shortly after this article appeared, Reuters published this:

    …and news arrived of ‘Startup City Bali':

    Boat, sailed.

    November 20th, 2012 at 1:08 pm. Permalink.

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About the author
Marek Pawlowski Marek Pawlowski is the founder of MEX. Since 1995, he has focused the MEX business on helping digital industries to develop better, more profitable products through improved understanding of user behaviour with mobile devices and wireless networks. MEX is best known for its events, research and consulting, which balance commercial, technical and user insights to define the future of mobile user experience. Web | Email
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20 November 2012
Pathway #17. Insight