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The Technicalities of a ‘Tech’ Startup

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With “tech startups” being everyone’s favorite buzzword – are we simply diluting the term? “Tech” startups like Uber and Airbnb (yes, they are still labeled as startups) are taking over the world,  but what about them makes them a “Tech” company? Of course, technology is a key part of how they do business, but that is true of any company. The truth lies at the core of the word “tech” and what people associate with it: research, innovation, and long term thinking, not necessarily just producing hardware or software. The chief economist at Moody Analytics, Mark Zandi, suggests that the label of “tech” sends the message “you want to work for me. You want to buy things from me at a higher price. You want to give me capital at a lower cost.”

Ultimately, is the classification of “tech” just marketing? Likely so. Alex Payne, an early Twitter engineer and tech investor, wrote in 2012: “Calling practically all growing contemporary businesses ‘technology companies’ is about as useful as calling the enterprises of the industrial era ‘factory companies.’ ” Would calling Uber a transportation startup or Airbnb a hospitality startup be as exciting? Likely not. What is sure is that “tech startups” are looking to revolutionize your way of life no matter what industry they’re doing it through.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.