What’s the opposite of a lean startup?

Nishita Gupta
Nishita Gupta September 2, 2023
Updated 2023/09/02 at 5:23 AM

The antithesis of a lean startup could be termed a “resource-heavy” or “capital-intensive” startup. In a lean startup, the emphasis is on agility, efficiency, and minimum viable products (MVPs). The goal is to quickly validate business assumptions with as little upfront investment as possible, thereby minimizing risk.

In contrast, a resource-heavy startup typically requires significant upfront capital to initiate operations. This could be due to the nature of the industry they are entering, such as pharmaceuticals or hardware manufacturing, where research and development or initial production costs are high. These types of startups often have a longer time-to-market due to rigorous testing, regulatory hurdles, or complicated technology requirements.

Moreover, a resource-heavy startup may also choose to invest heavily in marketing, hiring, or other operational aspects right from the beginning. They are less concerned with the iterative model of “build-measure-learn” that characterizes lean startups, aiming instead to enter the market with a full-featured, polished product.

However, it’s important to note that being resource-heavy doesn’t necessarily imply inefficiency or lack of focus. Some sectors simply demand a more substantial initial investment to achieve long-term success. The fundamental contrast lies in the approach to risk, validation, and resource allocation.

Here’s a rundown:

  • Teamshares: Here’s an interesting one. Teamshares has raised a lot of money and is buying a lot of SMBs. But that’s just the start. It also plans to allow employees of those companies earn stock through ongoing service over time, while serving up centralized fintech services to all its sub-companies. Who doesn’t love to chat about a new model?
  • MoonPay’s new venture arm: Crypto payment infra company MoonPay is getting into the venture game, with a focus on crypto, gaming and fintech. The union of those three is crypto games, of course, but we have two eyes fixed on what MoonPay decides to invest in. New crypto-thematic or crypto-adjacent funds are rarer these days, making the MoonPay news exciting.
  • Rent Butter and Kiki: Now that the zero interest rate period is over, and the experiment in building new iBuying and mortgage service startups has partially concluded, renting is hot again. And thus, so too are rental-focused startups.
  • The IPO drought has lasted longer than you anticipated: Working off a Crunchbase dataset, Alex has notes on just how long we have been waiting for real tech IPOs. The good news? They are (partially) back!
  • What happens when you bring lean startup ideology into the AI world? A lot of experiments, it turns out.

For more such content, keep reading @techinnews

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