When we were building Pardot someone commented to me that it was a lifestyle business since we didn’t raise venture capital. Immediately, I respectfully disagreed. A startup, by its very definition, is a scalable, growth-oriented company.
Much like differentiating innovative vs replicative companies, lifestyle businesses differ from startups:
- Lifestyle businesses balance company profitability for owner income with growth targets, while startups put all the emphasis on growth
- Lifestyle businesses rarely raise outside money while startups commonly raise money
- Lifestyle businesses are often comfortable with the status quo while startups are constantly looking for ways to grow faster
- Lifestyle businesses are about control and freedom while startups are about innovation and growth
Lifestyle businesses and startups have more in common than not, but the main difference is one provides for a lifestyle and the other focuses on growth.
What else? What are some more differences between a lifestyle business and a startup?