Satya's blog - 2012/11/
My desk, running Windows, Mac, and Linux all at the same time on 3 different computers:
Clay Allsop says having a startup means one of: you've raised money, are bringing in substantial revenue, or have a sizable active user base.
I have a side-project, a web application to manage the academic data for students of speech pathology. I'm a contractor, but in Silicon Valley terms, I'm the tech co-founder and probably CTO.
We've been around since 2005, in one form or another. In about 2009, we spun-off from the institution where the project started, and started taking on paying clients.
Right now, we have 32 institutions that are using the product, with about 8 more in the wings. Each institution has anything from 10 to 100 students. There's our sizable active user base.
We don't have substantial revenue by startup standards , but it is comfortable for a side-project.
We haven't raised, nor attempted to raise, any funding. We're just going by our day-job paychecks, savings, and revenue.
So by Clay's definition, it's a startup. It's not successful (yet), since it can't be all our primary jobs and pay all our salaries.
It can be successful, though, because between the founders we have considerable domain knowledge, technical knowledge, and domain contacts. The business person is a speech pathologist and former professor, which is how this thing got started. Knowing exactly what the customer wants is *gold*.
We don't need to advertise. The user base, speech pathology faculty, are a close-knit bunch (apparently) who love what we have so far. And what we have is a fully functional, post-MVP (Minimum Viable Product, i.e. the least number of features you can release that forms something usable), product.
Do I have a startup? Yes. Is it viable? Probably. Can I get funding? Don't know.