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The Startup Lifecycle: From Garage to Unicorn

Posted by Stéphane Nasser | Jan 16, 2017

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What is the typical journey of a successful startup? Four experts took a shot and tried to answer this question.

The illustration below sums up the startup lifecycle according to each of these authors.


After the obligatory “garage” phase, all models converge to a single common point: the PMF, or Product-Market Fit. Then the startup gradually expands into several channels, several countries, and several products, and becomes a scale-up, or growth machine in the words of Brian Balfour. Eventually, the last stage is a stabilization of the startup, because of the growth slowing down (Morgan Brown) and/or because of a liquidity event (Steve Blank).

So a typical startup lifecycle consists of 3 major stages: Garage, Growth Machine, Unicorn.


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