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Demography of Startup Software Companies: An Empirical Investigation on the Success and Failure

Demography of Startup Software Companies: An Empirical Investigation on the Success and Failure International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 Demography of Startup Software Companies: An Empirical Investigation on the Success and Failure Kaniz Fatema M.M. Mahbubul Syeed M. Saef Ullah Miah Professional Member Professional Member PhD Researcher ACM ACM UMP, Malaysia However, by its’ very nature, startups possesses an evolving, ABSTRACT unpredictable and even chaotic environment, which forces the Startup software company can be envisage as a company commit- entrepreneurs to learn, assess, comprehend and act quickly to ted to deliver innovative solution to market with four primary ob- capture a niche market for sustainability [20]. Otherwise, its very jectives, namely, product, service, process and platform. Software likely that the startup will fail fast. Related study reported that 75% startups are quite distinct from traditional mature software compa- of venture capital funded startups fail, and two-third of the startups nies. These companies develop state-of-the-art, software-intensive demise within the first five years [17] [18]. products within limited time frames and with few resources. They also introduce new challenges relevant to software engineering re- Several research has been conducted to understand the un- search which in turn lead to ample set of empirical investigation on derlying phenomenon of the development practices, processes, the topic. management decisions, risk factors, market volatility, and business This research is targeted to offer a systematic literature survey on strategies of startup companies that lead to their ultimate fate in the scientific investigations carried out on Startup software compa- terms of success or failure [35] [19] [36] [20] [18] [46]. nies, specifically concentrating on their success and failure param- These research requires a systematic characterization and reporting eters and strategies to encounter symptoms of failure. to get an holistic view on the issues concerning (a) what character- izes startup companies and their ecosystem, (b) what factors lead to either success or failure of an startup company, and (c) what prag- matic actions can be taken to avoid or revive from the failure? Keywords This study therefore reporting on a systematic selection, character- Startup, Software Startup company, Software Development, Suc- ization and structuring of the core literature that concern Software cess, Failure, Systematic Literature Review, Investor, Management startup companies specially focusing on their success and failure parameters. 1. INTRODUCTION The paper is organized as follows, section 2 presented the The term Startup was first coined in an article published by Forbes research focus, research questions and a detail discussion on Magazine dated back in 1976 to designate a segment of software the review method, section 3 elaborated the findings in relation companies that are new in market, possessing a outstanding growth to success and failure of startup companies, and strategies to potential due to the technology it is developing [12] [13]. These overcome the failure. Finally, threat to validity is remedied in companies have very little or no experience in operating a business section 4 and concluding remarks are presented in section 5. and have high volatility in technologies and market [20]. 2. REVIEW METHODOLOGY With the growing need of automation incorporating high problem solving capabilities, innovative software solutions becoming an Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is often conducted to carry inevitable need for both the corporate users and individuals. As out a through and unbiased summarizing and synthesis of the ex- a consequence, new applications and cloud services targeting isting scientific evidences on a given phenomenon in order to draw to resolve issues from different segments of our life are being general conclusion or prelude to further research activities [1] [3]. developed [14] [15]. Most of these initiatives are brought to Following the guidelines to conduct a SLR [2] [1], this research existence by the software startup companies. To mention a few, first defined a review protocol. This protocol ensures the systematic Facebook, UBER, Streem, Feather, Glofox have offered services step-by-step actions taken in conducting the review, and reduces the that gain huge market share and credibility. However, there are threat to validity of the reported results. Figure 1 defines the proto- numerous other cases where ingenious ideas goes in vain [16] [14]. col, a brief description of which is presented in this section. According to statistics, Startup companies are playing a piv- 2.1 Research Objective and Research Questions otal role in the economic growth of many countries [20]. For instance, in the US, every month around 476,000 new businesses The core focus of this literature survey is to investigate on the char- are established [17], contributing to 20% of new job creation [17]. acteristics of the Startup companies that correlate to their success 1 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 or failure. Therefore, 4 (four) research questions in 2 (two) broader references of these 48 selected articles. This process identified 3 domain of Startups’ are posted. Table 1 detail the research ques- additional articles which makes the final article count to 51. tions along with their rationale. 2.4 Article Assessment and Synthesis 2.2 Article Selection Selected articles are assessed thoroughly by the first and third au- As per the guideline [2] [3] [4], a concrete procedure must be de- thor in relation to the research questions. Findings are documented fined to search, short list and select appropriate articles for con- with reference to the articles. Then, these findings are scrutinized ducting the review. To do so, following activities are carried out in by the second author to ensure the correctness of the information. sequence, Finally, exclusive synthesis are drawn in answering the research questions. Alongside, this two pass assessment process minimizes 2.2.1 Inclusion criteria. Based on the research questions (Table the reviewer bias and increases the authenticity of the informa- 1), explicit inclusion criteria are defined. These criteria segments tion [1] [3]. what articles are to be included, their quality and comprehensive- ness. Following set of inclusion criteria are defined, 3. TRANSCRIPT OF EVALUATION —Subject area of the articles must unveil strong focus on research This section documents the transcript of findings in relation to the related to startup software companies and related issues, e.g., or- research questions. A taxonomy of the existing literature is pro- ganizational structure, process and practices, portfolio, success vided to draw a holistic view on the structure and ecosystem of the or failure. startup software companies, and their success and failure parame- —Articles published in peer reviewed journals and conferences are ters. included for the review and excludes full books. —All searches are based on the Title, Abstract, Keywords of the 3.1 On the Start-Up Company articles. Startup software company can be envisage as a company com- —Publication year of the articles must be between January, 2000 mitted to deliver innovative solution to market with four primary and December, 2018. objectives, namely, product, service, process and platform [33]. All the articles are assessed against these criteria through a manual In delivering the product, the startup working space slogan is analysis (discussed in Section 2.3) of title, keywords, abstract. In to Done is better than perfect or Move fast and break things [20]. case of doubt conclusions are checked [2] [1] [3]. Therefore, startups often do rapid development of a MVP (Min- 2.2.2 Search Libraries. SLR studies primarily depend on the au- imal Viable Product) to minimize time-to-market, to verify the tomated keyword search of the digital libraries [4] [5]. For this assumptions and to capture the market share [21] [16]. study, six such libraries are searched, namely, IEEE, Springer, Along with the product, startup founders also opting to adopt an Google Scholar, ACM Digital Library, MDPI, and OCED. Each effective and scalable business model [19]. Defining a startup library is searched using the Advance Search option to maximize business model requires two things to be established, (a) business the inclusion of relevant articles. strategy and (b) innovation model. This often depends on how the startup company captures, creates, and delivers values in 2.2.3 keywords and search string . Automatic keyword search economic, social, and cultural aspects of the market [34] [35]. is a widely used strategy for collecting initial set of articles from digital libraries [1] [6]. For this, a set of keywords representative of This process of defining a business model begins with mar- the focused domain are first defined. The detail listing of keywords ket validation. It includes three steps, e.g., problem interview, are presented in Table 2.2.3. solution interview, and building a Minimum Viable Product To search each digital library (as listed in Section 2.2.2), search (MVP) [42] [43]. Here, Problem interview anticipates the possible queries are formed by combining the keywords. It is to be noted market risk and obstacle that can be faced by the company in that each digital library has its’ own standard in defining the search future. Solution interview examines the startups’ ability to solve queries. Therefore, while forming the search string for a digital li- a problem that it might encounter. Finally, build a MVP thick brary, corresponding guidelines are followed strictly. and fast to jump into the market early, and gradually mature it Automated keyword search ended up with 376 articles. These are by attracting more investors, funds, and market share through initial set of articles and should have false positives. Therefore, a enhanced customer satisfaction [16]. manual screening need to be conducted to identify the correct ones. In building the MVP, founders have to leverage the best matched 2.3 Manual Selection design principles to offer a coherent set of normative ideas and Automated keyword search often lists articles that are irrelevant propositions to design [44]. However, often Startup founders whereas some relevant might be missing [5] [35]. Therefore, the need to depend on heuristics and rush into decisions that lead to first two authors performed a manual screening of these 376 arti- catastrophic consequences [52]. Therefore, adequate mentoring cles by reviewing the title, keywords and abstract (and in case of and consultation with experts should provide support in taking doubt, checking the conclusion [2]). To reduce the researcher bias pragmatic decisions in critical situations [44]. in this selection process, the third author independently examined the selected articles against the inclusion criteria (as presented in Engineering activities for the product development need to Section 2.2.1). Any disagreement is resolved through discussion. be tailored down to the startup context. This would allow flexibility This process ended up with 48 articles. and reactiveness within the development process and project Finally, to ensure the inclusion of other relevant but missing arti- workflow [22]. The founders will have the scope to deal with cles, the first author performed a non-recursive search through the continuous unpredictability, and to establish relationship between 2 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 cause and effect retrospect [22] [20]. They can stimulate customer organizations, resources should be managed at the level of the feedback, evaluate alternate perspectives and solutions to act startup ecosystem itself [26] [22]. fast and opportunistically for creating customer centric value Resources utilized by the startups are often obtained from proposition and lead to a sustainable innovation [22] [60] [62]. the stakeholders, and organizations that are an active part of the ecosystem [34]. Having a strong professional interaction with these organizations and people, the startups could have a steady flow of resources. This practice in turn will support new potential startups 3.2 Start-Up Ecosystem to emerge and at the same time strengthening the existing ones [26]. A software ecosystem (SECO) is defined as “a set of actors Financial and Market influence is the fifth factor that plays functioning as a unit and interacting with a shared market for a central role in the startup ecosystem. Associated concerns software and services, together with the relationships among like, financial climate, big market disruptions and big companies’ them” [8] [9]. transitions, control the overall structure of the ecosystem. A critical analysis and forecasting of the financial market and its’ influence Based on the practice and participation of the established players in the domain of software market, researchers proposed several on the software ecosystem, often defines the course of a startup modeling and strategic planning methods for software ecosystem. company. Therefore, the founders must learn to assess and act over These methods support the company stakeholders to decide on the financial market as this might be the decisive factor for the the products, services, release, market share and their frequently their success or failure [35] [36]. overlapping surrounding the software ecosystems [9] [10] [11]. Finally, the Process management, consists of all the engi- Startup companies initially focus on a suitable ecosystem to adopt, neering activities to carry out the product development, has a run and stabilize. This ecosystem includes several independent deep impact within the ecosystem. This process management components that should work in sync for the successful growth of should be agile, evolutionary and opportunistic [20]. Therefore, the company. agile software development methodologies are the most viable process. Because, it allows rapid development to shorten the The core of this ecosystem is the people who envision and time-to-market, accommodate changing requirements and business invest merit and labour to translate an innovative idea into a strategies rather comfortably [23]. viable business [60]. Translating innovative ideas into market One variant of agile methodologies is the Lean Startup develop- viable inventions and products through rigorous research and ment [62] [21], which in addition to other agile benefits, allows to development is the primary focus of these startup people [48]. identify the most risky parts of a software business and provide a The second component in the ecosystem is the organization that MVP to systematically test and plan modification for the next iter- shapes the overall structure of the Statup company. This includes ation. bodies, like funding and legal agencies (e.g., angel investors, start-up mentors, start-up advisors), incubators and accelerators, technical advisory and monitoring groups. Each group of organi- 3.3 Success Parameters for Startup Software zations typically focus on specific parts of the startup at specific Companies development stage(s) [50] [20]. Initiating a startup is a risky business due to uncertainties [27] [57]. Third influential factor is the professional culture within However, studies track down several key factors that contribute the organization. This includes but not limited to, developing the to the success of Startup companies. According to BDS report logistics and office setup, defining the office protocol and deco- (Business Dynamics Statistics, US Census Bureau, US Department rum, organizational hierarchy and responsibility, and marketing of Commerce) [31] the size of startups has surged over the past strategies. Having a healthy professional working culture helps decade, and average employment rate in these companies reached employees to be creative, enhance team development, coordination four-year high in 2014 with 6.1 employees per company. Average and team spirit [60]. employment in firms of all ages has increased slightly during this This professional culture also allows the team to be the catalyst of period, from 22.4 employees per firm in 2005 to 23.5 employees product development. Working on innovative product not only re- per firm in 2014. Therefore, the startup companies have success- quires creativity, and problem solving capability, but also the abil- fully created a large job market for skilled workers [31] [55]. ity to sustain pressure of time and resource limitations and adopt to new roles and challenges [20] [23]. Therefore, team empowerment Successful software startup founders should posses some dis- is inevitable to boost performance and chances of success [24]. The tinct characteristics to translate an innovative, market viable idea team should learn to absorb the shock and get lesson from trial and into a successful product with commercial value [56]. These techno error quickly enough to adapt to new emergent practices [25]. professionals are often driven by impact, resulting in passion and Additionally, people within an startup must extend their collab- commitment. They are committed to stay on course and stick oration with other partners in the market through shared events, to the chosen path. They possesses an ideal balance between activities, locations and interactions [25]. This helps the Startup to technical and business knowledge, required for management and gain market visibility, credibility and a strong hold with a strong product development [54]. They also exhibit the right mentoring professional network [25] [26]. relationships with employees to elevate motivation, commitment and performance. They often employ Lean Startup principles by Resource management is the fourth crucial factor within leveraging domain specific business knowledge to raise funding in the startup ecosystem. Startup ecosystem provide a variety of order to achieve next set of key milestones [54]. Additionally, these goods and services upon which other people and companies people often make well thought adjustment, keep their head down depend on. Therefore, the principles of startup ecosystem man- and have patience to adjust the mismatch between expectations agement suggest that rather than managing individual people or and reality [55]. 3 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 Additionally, following list of factors are positively associated There are several other factors that contribute to the failure of with the success of Startup companies, startup companies. For instance, lack of consistent strategies to un- derstand the problem to be solved, and deviate vastly in the wrong Speed to market: Conventional business wisdom also extends directions [14]; little or no operating experience; finite resources to Startup software companies as well, and that is to reach cus- and no control over expenditure; multiple influences, dynamic tech- tomer first. Therefore, the faster a startup can produce its service or nologies and market uncertainties [48] [50]. product incorporating market demand and customer requirements, Following is a classification of the key factors according to the better chance it has in capturing the market share [46]. research that contribute to the failure of startup companies. Financial understanding: Successful management of fund is Not the right team formation often relates to lack of motiva- one of the key to success. Startups must plan within budget, keep tion, expertise, common vision and experience. Management themselves out of debt and grow gradually. The motto at the early fails in organizing the team with adequate effective people with stage should be to do more with less [48]. explicit responsibilities. May be due to budget constrains, startups hire clever but inexperienced people during their early stages. Well connected: Startup companies that invest their effort in These people often deliver a product that does not meet customer extending market connections, gain higher degree of success. requirements and even unreliable and fails frequently [49]. These companies should use their social network and professional As the project progresses and the company starting to evolve, new communication channel to attract clients, investors, and mentors. people with specific skill sets and experience are recruited. Due to As the old proverb goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you their higher qualifications, management often put them in the driv- know [57]. ing seat with the existing members to work under them [46]. This brings significant resistance from the older members, who believes Quick to adapt: Successful startups are comfortable with themselves to deserve special treatment which is by the way not changing needs. People in these companies can foresee the market justified with their experience and skills [14] [59]. needs and execute smart course of actions to keep-up with that [?]. Additionally, management many a times fail to realize the impor- tance of developing skilled manpower over the time to carrying out Attract investors: Startup need to be smart enough to attract distinct responsibilities of product development. Rather, a handful new investors to fund. Business leaders know how to generate number of highly skilled individuals run the full show. This creates capital to give their million-dollar ideas a shot [53]. Angel investors monopoly and bottleneck in all activities, which in turn often put also like to take this risk with startup. the development process over burdened and halted [60]. Execution: Proper and timely execution of an idea is what Product without a business model refers to the situation where matters to success. Many promising ideas goes in vain just because the management fail to establish objectives and goals for product of lack of execution. Entrepreneurs must gain business experience, development [14]. The management and stakeholders make ad-hoc expertise and leadership to lead the team in performing right thing decisions in many key issues, over shadowing the greater strategic at right time [56]. plan. Such disjoint project management leads to critical resource allocation (e.g., money, manpower, logistics) on the wrong things Perseverance: Startups must continue obstinately in a course and at the wrong time, producing very little or no return [60]. of action in spite of hardship or interim failure. Management must With the gradual growth of the company, new products need analyse the current situation, assess possible bail outs and act fast to be introduced. Such development must be carried out under in executing the action [54]. The majority of startups bail when a detailed business plan envisioned the future of the company. money is tight or disagreements arise between founders. Teams must coordinate their activities in parallel ( e.g., product development, professional services, support, sales and marketing) under the supervision of the management. However, due to lack of 3.4 On the Failure of Startup Software Companies proper business plan and its execution, substandard products are According to statistics, 75% of venture capital funded startups fail, developed with little value to the customers [55] [56]. and 60% of the startups demise within the first five years of their Lack of Project management leaves the product orphan. Due commencement [?] [18]. Several research has been conducted to to naive management skills, no one in the organization knows who empirically investigate on the cause of failure of these startup soft- has the authority to decide on products features, development, ware companies, an exclusive summary of which is drawn bellow. release planning and related issues. They do not realize the im- Startups by its very nature trying to offer innovative solution to the portance of selecting contemporary and cutting edge technologies market without the proof of functionality in the real world. This and components (e.g., hardware and software). This left the lack of concept validation increases the chance of failure [14]. technology selection on the developers which lead to long term According to [24], most of the startups fail for lack of customer consequences [30]. For instance, developers’ fail to build skills and validation than lack of technology. competencies around stable platforms, which severely affect the development of reusable components, and the plan of developing a Additionally, many entrepreneurs start without a market via- family of products to capture different market segments [29]. bility survey and a concrete plan of execution. They either just Additionally, recruitment of new executives in the management jump into it or have a very brief sketch of what to do. They often may ignite conflicts of interests. This affect effective leadership to make good progress in the early stages because the milestones are lead the company towards success [27]. close together and relatively simple to achieve, however, soon fall a part as the milestones get farther, and complex to achieve [59] [61]. Product fails to meet market demand is the most cited rea- Things even get more acute when hard works goes in vain due to son why more than half of the startups fail. Failure is evident while unclear goal, vision and unprofessional execution plan [49] . 4 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 startups are solving problems that are interesting to solve rather must train the team to learn from trial and error quickly enough to than those that has market demand [30]. adapt to new emergent practices [66], enhance performance [66], Also, developed product may face challenging bugs to be resolved optimize resource utilization, and adopt efficient development which keep postponing the release of a stable version as per cus- process to effectively deliver to customers’ demand [65]. tomer demand [20]. This hampers the reliability of the product and in consequence, gradually loose the market share to its competitors. Tools and technology selection: As discussed earlier, startups On the other hand, developed software might start getting over- often prefer to go for easy to implement tools and open source whelming demand for new features and to make the product components for faster development and flatter learning curve. available on more platforms. The company also make promises These choices also underpinned by the low maintenance cost which to deliver the same to its customers. However, due to lack of is often a big concern during the early phase of the company [63]. proper management, development process get overburdened and However, cutting edge development tools and techniques support- timescales are not met [20]. Stakeholders knew that they are ing new languages, objects and distributed technologies, version- investing on the product enhancement, but find little progress at ing, are the best suited for the development of innovative prod- the end. Management get frustrated due to not finding pragmatic ucts [15]. It supports adopting to the fast changing nature of the tech solutions to speed up the process [37]. world. It may cause a spike in terms of cost, learning and adoption during the early stages, but once adopted, will support long term Running out of cash is an issue that contributes heavily to- sustainability of company [19]. wards failure [25]. Under funding or reckless expenditure of money, both are detrimental to survival. 4. VALIDITY THREAT Get out-competed from the market by the competitors on the Carrying out a SLR is mostly a manual task and subject to re- ground of motivation, expertise, funding and other skills [24]. searcher bias [2]. To minimize this, a well documented approach Even though such competition is not expected or even common following the suggestion of Kitchenham [1] was defined in advance in the domain of startup companies, still in reality many en- and executed over the review process. Validity measures that are trepreneurs jumps into the business while an idea gets hot and ensured within the definition of the review process (as presented in achieves market validation [27]. Having strong competitor(s) in Sec 2) is discussed bellow, the market, ignoring them all together without any viable plan to encounter, would lead to the ultimate failure and demise of the 4.1 Article Selection company. According to the guideline of Kitchenham [3], the inclusion criteria is set at the time of defining the review process, and the criteria 3.5 Failure Remedy Strategies are based on the research questions. This reduces the likelihood of biasing the article selection process. Articles satisfying the criterion Several key strategies are prescribed in the literature in relation are considered only. Additionally, manual assessment and reference to process, practices and selection of alternatives to minimize the checking of every selected article ensures the comprehensiveness of chance of failure. Following is a summary of those proposals. the review. Process management practices: All engineering activities that lead to product development and management should be flexible 4.2 Article Assessment enough to accommodate frequent changes and adopt to the market Interpretation of the scholarly content of the articles are also subject demand [15]. Therefore, agile methodologies are considered the to reviewer bias. Therefore, this review is conducted in a two pass most viable process for startups. All variants of agile practices sup- method where two distinct panel of reviewers are formed to cross port short iteration of development, frequent release at the end of validate the review results (as presented in Section 2.4). every iteration (typically takes one or two weeks), and incremental approach to deliver features [67]. These practices facilitates the startup with fast deployment of the product, addressing changing 5. CONCLUSION needs of the customers and market uncertainties [68] [21]. Among the agile methodologies, XP (Extreme Programming) is the With their high problem solving capability, technical expertise, most commonly used methodology within the startups, due to its’ courage and enthusiasm, Startup software companies are deliver- reduced process costs and low documentation requirements [69]. ing the solutions for corporate and commercial users. In the pro- Alternatively, Lean development practice can be used [21] [62]. It cess, they contribute heavily in the economy with new jobs and supports identification of risky parts of a software business, rapid GDP growth. However, such companies are often operated by peo- prototyping with MVP for testing and reducing time to market [16]. ple with very little or no experience in business operation, and have high volatility in technologies and markets. While some startups Managerial and organizational practices: A startup should took very pragmatic course of actions that lead to proliferation, oth- be lead by an entrepreneur who preferably have experience and ers fail to survive (around 60% of all startup initiatives fails). expertise working on similar business domain and can offer Several research has been conducted to understand the underlying leadership [64]. He should have the ability to adopt in dynamic phenomenon of the development practices, process, management, environment, and can manage, motivate and guide the team to cope decisions of startup companies that lead to their ultimate fate in with fast changing needs, challenges and resource constraints [65]. terms of success or failure. These research requires a systematic The organizational structure and practice should offer a flexible characterization and reporting to get an holistic view on the issues, orientation to reduce bureaucracy in decision making and approval like (a) what leads to either success or failure of an startup com- process for rapid progress [52]. To accommodate such flexibility, pany, and (b) what pragmatic actions can be taken to avoid or revive team empowerment is a must. 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Entrepreneurial ecosystems and growth oriented entrepreneurship, OCED. [56] Fagerholm F., Paasivaara M., Jedlitschka A., Kuvaja P., Kuhrmann M., Tomi M annist .o, J urgen M uch, and 7 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 Fig. 1. Brief sketch of the review protocol followed Table 1. Research Questions Start-up Domain Question Motivation Organigram and Practice 1. What is a start-up or startup company? To define what constitutes a startup software paradigm. 2. What is a startup ecosystem? To define the key properties of startup environment, actors and factors within the ecosystem to consider. Portfolio 3. What are the success parameters for a startup company? To determine the factors influencing growth and success of the statrup companies. 4.What are the reasons a startup company fails and what can To trace the reason of failure and strategies to remedy or re- be done for the avoidance? cover from that. Table 2. Keywords for Digital Library Search Startup newly emerged, fast-growing business, innovative product, service, process, platform, effective Software Startup software startup, software start-up, early-stage firm, early-stage company, startup company, lean startup Software Development develop, engineering, engineer, model, construct, implement, code, create, build Strategy product, service, process, methodology, tool, method, practice, artifact, artefact, quality, software, move, action, management Software Company software, technology, distribution, software product development Mapping data mapping, overview, upscale, connection Investor angel, angel-investor, venture capital, funding, business-angel, venture companies Management managing, administration, organization, business, corporation, strategy, coordinate http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Computer Applications Unpaywall

Demography of Startup Software Companies: An Empirical Investigation on the Success and Failure

International Journal of Computer ApplicationsJun 18, 2020

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International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 Demography of Startup Software Companies: An Empirical Investigation on the Success and Failure Kaniz Fatema M.M. Mahbubul Syeed M. Saef Ullah Miah Professional Member Professional Member PhD Researcher ACM ACM UMP, Malaysia However, by its’ very nature, startups possesses an evolving, ABSTRACT unpredictable and even chaotic environment, which forces the Startup software company can be envisage as a company commit- entrepreneurs to learn, assess, comprehend and act quickly to ted to deliver innovative solution to market with four primary ob- capture a niche market for sustainability [20]. Otherwise, its very jectives, namely, product, service, process and platform. Software likely that the startup will fail fast. Related study reported that 75% startups are quite distinct from traditional mature software compa- of venture capital funded startups fail, and two-third of the startups nies. These companies develop state-of-the-art, software-intensive demise within the first five years [17] [18]. products within limited time frames and with few resources. They also introduce new challenges relevant to software engineering re- Several research has been conducted to understand the un- search which in turn lead to ample set of empirical investigation on derlying phenomenon of the development practices, processes, the topic. management decisions, risk factors, market volatility, and business This research is targeted to offer a systematic literature survey on strategies of startup companies that lead to their ultimate fate in the scientific investigations carried out on Startup software compa- terms of success or failure [35] [19] [36] [20] [18] [46]. nies, specifically concentrating on their success and failure param- These research requires a systematic characterization and reporting eters and strategies to encounter symptoms of failure. to get an holistic view on the issues concerning (a) what character- izes startup companies and their ecosystem, (b) what factors lead to either success or failure of an startup company, and (c) what prag- matic actions can be taken to avoid or revive from the failure? Keywords This study therefore reporting on a systematic selection, character- Startup, Software Startup company, Software Development, Suc- ization and structuring of the core literature that concern Software cess, Failure, Systematic Literature Review, Investor, Management startup companies specially focusing on their success and failure parameters. 1. INTRODUCTION The paper is organized as follows, section 2 presented the The term Startup was first coined in an article published by Forbes research focus, research questions and a detail discussion on Magazine dated back in 1976 to designate a segment of software the review method, section 3 elaborated the findings in relation companies that are new in market, possessing a outstanding growth to success and failure of startup companies, and strategies to potential due to the technology it is developing [12] [13]. These overcome the failure. Finally, threat to validity is remedied in companies have very little or no experience in operating a business section 4 and concluding remarks are presented in section 5. and have high volatility in technologies and market [20]. 2. REVIEW METHODOLOGY With the growing need of automation incorporating high problem solving capabilities, innovative software solutions becoming an Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is often conducted to carry inevitable need for both the corporate users and individuals. As out a through and unbiased summarizing and synthesis of the ex- a consequence, new applications and cloud services targeting isting scientific evidences on a given phenomenon in order to draw to resolve issues from different segments of our life are being general conclusion or prelude to further research activities [1] [3]. developed [14] [15]. Most of these initiatives are brought to Following the guidelines to conduct a SLR [2] [1], this research existence by the software startup companies. To mention a few, first defined a review protocol. This protocol ensures the systematic Facebook, UBER, Streem, Feather, Glofox have offered services step-by-step actions taken in conducting the review, and reduces the that gain huge market share and credibility. However, there are threat to validity of the reported results. Figure 1 defines the proto- numerous other cases where ingenious ideas goes in vain [16] [14]. col, a brief description of which is presented in this section. According to statistics, Startup companies are playing a piv- 2.1 Research Objective and Research Questions otal role in the economic growth of many countries [20]. For instance, in the US, every month around 476,000 new businesses The core focus of this literature survey is to investigate on the char- are established [17], contributing to 20% of new job creation [17]. acteristics of the Startup companies that correlate to their success 1 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 or failure. Therefore, 4 (four) research questions in 2 (two) broader references of these 48 selected articles. This process identified 3 domain of Startups’ are posted. Table 1 detail the research ques- additional articles which makes the final article count to 51. tions along with their rationale. 2.4 Article Assessment and Synthesis 2.2 Article Selection Selected articles are assessed thoroughly by the first and third au- As per the guideline [2] [3] [4], a concrete procedure must be de- thor in relation to the research questions. Findings are documented fined to search, short list and select appropriate articles for con- with reference to the articles. Then, these findings are scrutinized ducting the review. To do so, following activities are carried out in by the second author to ensure the correctness of the information. sequence, Finally, exclusive synthesis are drawn in answering the research questions. Alongside, this two pass assessment process minimizes 2.2.1 Inclusion criteria. Based on the research questions (Table the reviewer bias and increases the authenticity of the informa- 1), explicit inclusion criteria are defined. These criteria segments tion [1] [3]. what articles are to be included, their quality and comprehensive- ness. Following set of inclusion criteria are defined, 3. TRANSCRIPT OF EVALUATION —Subject area of the articles must unveil strong focus on research This section documents the transcript of findings in relation to the related to startup software companies and related issues, e.g., or- research questions. A taxonomy of the existing literature is pro- ganizational structure, process and practices, portfolio, success vided to draw a holistic view on the structure and ecosystem of the or failure. startup software companies, and their success and failure parame- —Articles published in peer reviewed journals and conferences are ters. included for the review and excludes full books. —All searches are based on the Title, Abstract, Keywords of the 3.1 On the Start-Up Company articles. Startup software company can be envisage as a company com- —Publication year of the articles must be between January, 2000 mitted to deliver innovative solution to market with four primary and December, 2018. objectives, namely, product, service, process and platform [33]. All the articles are assessed against these criteria through a manual In delivering the product, the startup working space slogan is analysis (discussed in Section 2.3) of title, keywords, abstract. In to Done is better than perfect or Move fast and break things [20]. case of doubt conclusions are checked [2] [1] [3]. Therefore, startups often do rapid development of a MVP (Min- 2.2.2 Search Libraries. SLR studies primarily depend on the au- imal Viable Product) to minimize time-to-market, to verify the tomated keyword search of the digital libraries [4] [5]. For this assumptions and to capture the market share [21] [16]. study, six such libraries are searched, namely, IEEE, Springer, Along with the product, startup founders also opting to adopt an Google Scholar, ACM Digital Library, MDPI, and OCED. Each effective and scalable business model [19]. Defining a startup library is searched using the Advance Search option to maximize business model requires two things to be established, (a) business the inclusion of relevant articles. strategy and (b) innovation model. This often depends on how the startup company captures, creates, and delivers values in 2.2.3 keywords and search string . Automatic keyword search economic, social, and cultural aspects of the market [34] [35]. is a widely used strategy for collecting initial set of articles from digital libraries [1] [6]. For this, a set of keywords representative of This process of defining a business model begins with mar- the focused domain are first defined. The detail listing of keywords ket validation. It includes three steps, e.g., problem interview, are presented in Table 2.2.3. solution interview, and building a Minimum Viable Product To search each digital library (as listed in Section 2.2.2), search (MVP) [42] [43]. Here, Problem interview anticipates the possible queries are formed by combining the keywords. It is to be noted market risk and obstacle that can be faced by the company in that each digital library has its’ own standard in defining the search future. Solution interview examines the startups’ ability to solve queries. Therefore, while forming the search string for a digital li- a problem that it might encounter. Finally, build a MVP thick brary, corresponding guidelines are followed strictly. and fast to jump into the market early, and gradually mature it Automated keyword search ended up with 376 articles. These are by attracting more investors, funds, and market share through initial set of articles and should have false positives. Therefore, a enhanced customer satisfaction [16]. manual screening need to be conducted to identify the correct ones. In building the MVP, founders have to leverage the best matched 2.3 Manual Selection design principles to offer a coherent set of normative ideas and Automated keyword search often lists articles that are irrelevant propositions to design [44]. However, often Startup founders whereas some relevant might be missing [5] [35]. Therefore, the need to depend on heuristics and rush into decisions that lead to first two authors performed a manual screening of these 376 arti- catastrophic consequences [52]. Therefore, adequate mentoring cles by reviewing the title, keywords and abstract (and in case of and consultation with experts should provide support in taking doubt, checking the conclusion [2]). To reduce the researcher bias pragmatic decisions in critical situations [44]. in this selection process, the third author independently examined the selected articles against the inclusion criteria (as presented in Engineering activities for the product development need to Section 2.2.1). Any disagreement is resolved through discussion. be tailored down to the startup context. This would allow flexibility This process ended up with 48 articles. and reactiveness within the development process and project Finally, to ensure the inclusion of other relevant but missing arti- workflow [22]. The founders will have the scope to deal with cles, the first author performed a non-recursive search through the continuous unpredictability, and to establish relationship between 2 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 cause and effect retrospect [22] [20]. They can stimulate customer organizations, resources should be managed at the level of the feedback, evaluate alternate perspectives and solutions to act startup ecosystem itself [26] [22]. fast and opportunistically for creating customer centric value Resources utilized by the startups are often obtained from proposition and lead to a sustainable innovation [22] [60] [62]. the stakeholders, and organizations that are an active part of the ecosystem [34]. Having a strong professional interaction with these organizations and people, the startups could have a steady flow of resources. This practice in turn will support new potential startups 3.2 Start-Up Ecosystem to emerge and at the same time strengthening the existing ones [26]. A software ecosystem (SECO) is defined as “a set of actors Financial and Market influence is the fifth factor that plays functioning as a unit and interacting with a shared market for a central role in the startup ecosystem. Associated concerns software and services, together with the relationships among like, financial climate, big market disruptions and big companies’ them” [8] [9]. transitions, control the overall structure of the ecosystem. A critical analysis and forecasting of the financial market and its’ influence Based on the practice and participation of the established players in the domain of software market, researchers proposed several on the software ecosystem, often defines the course of a startup modeling and strategic planning methods for software ecosystem. company. Therefore, the founders must learn to assess and act over These methods support the company stakeholders to decide on the financial market as this might be the decisive factor for the the products, services, release, market share and their frequently their success or failure [35] [36]. overlapping surrounding the software ecosystems [9] [10] [11]. Finally, the Process management, consists of all the engi- Startup companies initially focus on a suitable ecosystem to adopt, neering activities to carry out the product development, has a run and stabilize. This ecosystem includes several independent deep impact within the ecosystem. This process management components that should work in sync for the successful growth of should be agile, evolutionary and opportunistic [20]. Therefore, the company. agile software development methodologies are the most viable process. Because, it allows rapid development to shorten the The core of this ecosystem is the people who envision and time-to-market, accommodate changing requirements and business invest merit and labour to translate an innovative idea into a strategies rather comfortably [23]. viable business [60]. Translating innovative ideas into market One variant of agile methodologies is the Lean Startup develop- viable inventions and products through rigorous research and ment [62] [21], which in addition to other agile benefits, allows to development is the primary focus of these startup people [48]. identify the most risky parts of a software business and provide a The second component in the ecosystem is the organization that MVP to systematically test and plan modification for the next iter- shapes the overall structure of the Statup company. This includes ation. bodies, like funding and legal agencies (e.g., angel investors, start-up mentors, start-up advisors), incubators and accelerators, technical advisory and monitoring groups. Each group of organi- 3.3 Success Parameters for Startup Software zations typically focus on specific parts of the startup at specific Companies development stage(s) [50] [20]. Initiating a startup is a risky business due to uncertainties [27] [57]. Third influential factor is the professional culture within However, studies track down several key factors that contribute the organization. This includes but not limited to, developing the to the success of Startup companies. According to BDS report logistics and office setup, defining the office protocol and deco- (Business Dynamics Statistics, US Census Bureau, US Department rum, organizational hierarchy and responsibility, and marketing of Commerce) [31] the size of startups has surged over the past strategies. Having a healthy professional working culture helps decade, and average employment rate in these companies reached employees to be creative, enhance team development, coordination four-year high in 2014 with 6.1 employees per company. Average and team spirit [60]. employment in firms of all ages has increased slightly during this This professional culture also allows the team to be the catalyst of period, from 22.4 employees per firm in 2005 to 23.5 employees product development. Working on innovative product not only re- per firm in 2014. Therefore, the startup companies have success- quires creativity, and problem solving capability, but also the abil- fully created a large job market for skilled workers [31] [55]. ity to sustain pressure of time and resource limitations and adopt to new roles and challenges [20] [23]. Therefore, team empowerment Successful software startup founders should posses some dis- is inevitable to boost performance and chances of success [24]. The tinct characteristics to translate an innovative, market viable idea team should learn to absorb the shock and get lesson from trial and into a successful product with commercial value [56]. These techno error quickly enough to adapt to new emergent practices [25]. professionals are often driven by impact, resulting in passion and Additionally, people within an startup must extend their collab- commitment. They are committed to stay on course and stick oration with other partners in the market through shared events, to the chosen path. They possesses an ideal balance between activities, locations and interactions [25]. This helps the Startup to technical and business knowledge, required for management and gain market visibility, credibility and a strong hold with a strong product development [54]. They also exhibit the right mentoring professional network [25] [26]. relationships with employees to elevate motivation, commitment and performance. They often employ Lean Startup principles by Resource management is the fourth crucial factor within leveraging domain specific business knowledge to raise funding in the startup ecosystem. Startup ecosystem provide a variety of order to achieve next set of key milestones [54]. Additionally, these goods and services upon which other people and companies people often make well thought adjustment, keep their head down depend on. Therefore, the principles of startup ecosystem man- and have patience to adjust the mismatch between expectations agement suggest that rather than managing individual people or and reality [55]. 3 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 Additionally, following list of factors are positively associated There are several other factors that contribute to the failure of with the success of Startup companies, startup companies. For instance, lack of consistent strategies to un- derstand the problem to be solved, and deviate vastly in the wrong Speed to market: Conventional business wisdom also extends directions [14]; little or no operating experience; finite resources to Startup software companies as well, and that is to reach cus- and no control over expenditure; multiple influences, dynamic tech- tomer first. Therefore, the faster a startup can produce its service or nologies and market uncertainties [48] [50]. product incorporating market demand and customer requirements, Following is a classification of the key factors according to the better chance it has in capturing the market share [46]. research that contribute to the failure of startup companies. Financial understanding: Successful management of fund is Not the right team formation often relates to lack of motiva- one of the key to success. Startups must plan within budget, keep tion, expertise, common vision and experience. Management themselves out of debt and grow gradually. The motto at the early fails in organizing the team with adequate effective people with stage should be to do more with less [48]. explicit responsibilities. May be due to budget constrains, startups hire clever but inexperienced people during their early stages. Well connected: Startup companies that invest their effort in These people often deliver a product that does not meet customer extending market connections, gain higher degree of success. requirements and even unreliable and fails frequently [49]. These companies should use their social network and professional As the project progresses and the company starting to evolve, new communication channel to attract clients, investors, and mentors. people with specific skill sets and experience are recruited. Due to As the old proverb goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you their higher qualifications, management often put them in the driv- know [57]. ing seat with the existing members to work under them [46]. This brings significant resistance from the older members, who believes Quick to adapt: Successful startups are comfortable with themselves to deserve special treatment which is by the way not changing needs. People in these companies can foresee the market justified with their experience and skills [14] [59]. needs and execute smart course of actions to keep-up with that [?]. Additionally, management many a times fail to realize the impor- tance of developing skilled manpower over the time to carrying out Attract investors: Startup need to be smart enough to attract distinct responsibilities of product development. Rather, a handful new investors to fund. Business leaders know how to generate number of highly skilled individuals run the full show. This creates capital to give their million-dollar ideas a shot [53]. Angel investors monopoly and bottleneck in all activities, which in turn often put also like to take this risk with startup. the development process over burdened and halted [60]. Execution: Proper and timely execution of an idea is what Product without a business model refers to the situation where matters to success. Many promising ideas goes in vain just because the management fail to establish objectives and goals for product of lack of execution. Entrepreneurs must gain business experience, development [14]. The management and stakeholders make ad-hoc expertise and leadership to lead the team in performing right thing decisions in many key issues, over shadowing the greater strategic at right time [56]. plan. Such disjoint project management leads to critical resource allocation (e.g., money, manpower, logistics) on the wrong things Perseverance: Startups must continue obstinately in a course and at the wrong time, producing very little or no return [60]. of action in spite of hardship or interim failure. Management must With the gradual growth of the company, new products need analyse the current situation, assess possible bail outs and act fast to be introduced. Such development must be carried out under in executing the action [54]. The majority of startups bail when a detailed business plan envisioned the future of the company. money is tight or disagreements arise between founders. Teams must coordinate their activities in parallel ( e.g., product development, professional services, support, sales and marketing) under the supervision of the management. However, due to lack of 3.4 On the Failure of Startup Software Companies proper business plan and its execution, substandard products are According to statistics, 75% of venture capital funded startups fail, developed with little value to the customers [55] [56]. and 60% of the startups demise within the first five years of their Lack of Project management leaves the product orphan. Due commencement [?] [18]. Several research has been conducted to to naive management skills, no one in the organization knows who empirically investigate on the cause of failure of these startup soft- has the authority to decide on products features, development, ware companies, an exclusive summary of which is drawn bellow. release planning and related issues. They do not realize the im- Startups by its very nature trying to offer innovative solution to the portance of selecting contemporary and cutting edge technologies market without the proof of functionality in the real world. This and components (e.g., hardware and software). This left the lack of concept validation increases the chance of failure [14]. technology selection on the developers which lead to long term According to [24], most of the startups fail for lack of customer consequences [30]. For instance, developers’ fail to build skills and validation than lack of technology. competencies around stable platforms, which severely affect the development of reusable components, and the plan of developing a Additionally, many entrepreneurs start without a market via- family of products to capture different market segments [29]. bility survey and a concrete plan of execution. They either just Additionally, recruitment of new executives in the management jump into it or have a very brief sketch of what to do. They often may ignite conflicts of interests. This affect effective leadership to make good progress in the early stages because the milestones are lead the company towards success [27]. close together and relatively simple to achieve, however, soon fall a part as the milestones get farther, and complex to achieve [59] [61]. Product fails to meet market demand is the most cited rea- Things even get more acute when hard works goes in vain due to son why more than half of the startups fail. Failure is evident while unclear goal, vision and unprofessional execution plan [49] . 4 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 startups are solving problems that are interesting to solve rather must train the team to learn from trial and error quickly enough to than those that has market demand [30]. adapt to new emergent practices [66], enhance performance [66], Also, developed product may face challenging bugs to be resolved optimize resource utilization, and adopt efficient development which keep postponing the release of a stable version as per cus- process to effectively deliver to customers’ demand [65]. tomer demand [20]. This hampers the reliability of the product and in consequence, gradually loose the market share to its competitors. Tools and technology selection: As discussed earlier, startups On the other hand, developed software might start getting over- often prefer to go for easy to implement tools and open source whelming demand for new features and to make the product components for faster development and flatter learning curve. available on more platforms. The company also make promises These choices also underpinned by the low maintenance cost which to deliver the same to its customers. However, due to lack of is often a big concern during the early phase of the company [63]. proper management, development process get overburdened and However, cutting edge development tools and techniques support- timescales are not met [20]. Stakeholders knew that they are ing new languages, objects and distributed technologies, version- investing on the product enhancement, but find little progress at ing, are the best suited for the development of innovative prod- the end. Management get frustrated due to not finding pragmatic ucts [15]. It supports adopting to the fast changing nature of the tech solutions to speed up the process [37]. world. It may cause a spike in terms of cost, learning and adoption during the early stages, but once adopted, will support long term Running out of cash is an issue that contributes heavily to- sustainability of company [19]. wards failure [25]. Under funding or reckless expenditure of money, both are detrimental to survival. 4. VALIDITY THREAT Get out-competed from the market by the competitors on the Carrying out a SLR is mostly a manual task and subject to re- ground of motivation, expertise, funding and other skills [24]. searcher bias [2]. To minimize this, a well documented approach Even though such competition is not expected or even common following the suggestion of Kitchenham [1] was defined in advance in the domain of startup companies, still in reality many en- and executed over the review process. Validity measures that are trepreneurs jumps into the business while an idea gets hot and ensured within the definition of the review process (as presented in achieves market validation [27]. Having strong competitor(s) in Sec 2) is discussed bellow, the market, ignoring them all together without any viable plan to encounter, would lead to the ultimate failure and demise of the 4.1 Article Selection company. According to the guideline of Kitchenham [3], the inclusion criteria is set at the time of defining the review process, and the criteria 3.5 Failure Remedy Strategies are based on the research questions. This reduces the likelihood of biasing the article selection process. Articles satisfying the criterion Several key strategies are prescribed in the literature in relation are considered only. Additionally, manual assessment and reference to process, practices and selection of alternatives to minimize the checking of every selected article ensures the comprehensiveness of chance of failure. Following is a summary of those proposals. the review. Process management practices: All engineering activities that lead to product development and management should be flexible 4.2 Article Assessment enough to accommodate frequent changes and adopt to the market Interpretation of the scholarly content of the articles are also subject demand [15]. Therefore, agile methodologies are considered the to reviewer bias. Therefore, this review is conducted in a two pass most viable process for startups. All variants of agile practices sup- method where two distinct panel of reviewers are formed to cross port short iteration of development, frequent release at the end of validate the review results (as presented in Section 2.4). every iteration (typically takes one or two weeks), and incremental approach to deliver features [67]. These practices facilitates the startup with fast deployment of the product, addressing changing 5. CONCLUSION needs of the customers and market uncertainties [68] [21]. Among the agile methodologies, XP (Extreme Programming) is the With their high problem solving capability, technical expertise, most commonly used methodology within the startups, due to its’ courage and enthusiasm, Startup software companies are deliver- reduced process costs and low documentation requirements [69]. ing the solutions for corporate and commercial users. In the pro- Alternatively, Lean development practice can be used [21] [62]. It cess, they contribute heavily in the economy with new jobs and supports identification of risky parts of a software business, rapid GDP growth. However, such companies are often operated by peo- prototyping with MVP for testing and reducing time to market [16]. ple with very little or no experience in business operation, and have high volatility in technologies and markets. While some startups Managerial and organizational practices: A startup should took very pragmatic course of actions that lead to proliferation, oth- be lead by an entrepreneur who preferably have experience and ers fail to survive (around 60% of all startup initiatives fails). expertise working on similar business domain and can offer Several research has been conducted to understand the underlying leadership [64]. He should have the ability to adopt in dynamic phenomenon of the development practices, process, management, environment, and can manage, motivate and guide the team to cope decisions of startup companies that lead to their ultimate fate in with fast changing needs, challenges and resource constraints [65]. terms of success or failure. These research requires a systematic The organizational structure and practice should offer a flexible characterization and reporting to get an holistic view on the issues, orientation to reduce bureaucracy in decision making and approval like (a) what leads to either success or failure of an startup com- process for rapid progress [52]. To accommodate such flexibility, pany, and (b) what pragmatic actions can be taken to avoid or revive team empowerment is a must. The entrepreneur or the management from the failure? 5 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 This paper reports the same through a systematic literature review. [17] Fairlie R. W. 2014. Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activ- The empirically validated guidelines would support future startup ity, Kauffman Foundation. initiatives to decide on critical issues that may otherwise over- [18] Nobel C. 2011. Why Companies Fail - and How Their looked. For instance, early recognition and management of the is- Founders Can Bounce Back. Harvard Business School. sues as classified in this paper along with the recovery guide can [19] Paternoster N., Giardino C., Unterkalmsteiner M., Gorschek increase the chances of success for a software startup company. T. and Abrahamsson P. 2014. Software development in startup companies: A systematic mapping study, Inf. Softw. Technol. 6. 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Entrepreneurial ecosystems and growth oriented entrepreneurship, OCED. [56] Fagerholm F., Paasivaara M., Jedlitschka A., Kuvaja P., Kuhrmann M., Tomi M annist .o, J urgen M uch, and 7 International Journal of Computer Applications (0975 - 8887) Volume 176 - No.29, June 2020 Fig. 1. Brief sketch of the review protocol followed Table 1. Research Questions Start-up Domain Question Motivation Organigram and Practice 1. What is a start-up or startup company? To define what constitutes a startup software paradigm. 2. What is a startup ecosystem? To define the key properties of startup environment, actors and factors within the ecosystem to consider. Portfolio 3. What are the success parameters for a startup company? To determine the factors influencing growth and success of the statrup companies. 4.What are the reasons a startup company fails and what can To trace the reason of failure and strategies to remedy or re- be done for the avoidance? cover from that. Table 2. Keywords for Digital Library Search Startup newly emerged, fast-growing business, innovative product, service, process, platform, effective Software Startup software startup, software start-up, early-stage firm, early-stage company, startup company, lean startup Software Development develop, engineering, engineer, model, construct, implement, code, create, build Strategy product, service, process, methodology, tool, method, practice, artifact, artefact, quality, software, move, action, management Software Company software, technology, distribution, software product development Mapping data mapping, overview, upscale, connection Investor angel, angel-investor, venture capital, funding, business-angel, venture companies Management managing, administration, organization, business, corporation, strategy, coordinate

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