Find Your Niche In the Startup Ecosystem (Sharks, Dolphins, Whales…Oh My)

Your Niche In the Startup Ecosystem

In the startup world everyone stress the fact that you need to find a niche. Google’s niche was search, Yahoo was portals, Microsoft was software and operating systems, Apple was software, hardware and user experience. All these companies were funded by angel investors and venture capitalists. Their founders became household names (with the exception to Yahoo because no one really cares about them).  These tech companies undoubtedly inspired Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Groupon, Zynga, Airbnb and so on.

The social startup wave will inspire the next group of entrepreneurs and founders who will lean on their tireless developers, coders and designers while taking funds from the venture capitalists.

The folks over at Udemy did a great job with an infographic that outline the different roles in the startup ecosystem:

  • Sharks – Venture Capitalist invests in promising startups to earn large returns when a company exits (either through IPO or acquisition). They prey on weak founders with great ideas and are preyed upon by tech bloggers and pompous founders.
  • Dolphin – Angel Investor usually invests money in businesses that are in need of extra capital. It is usually recommended that “founders seek angels before they venture”. They are preyed upon by venture capitalists and tech bloggers.
  • Octopus – Developer does a founder’s dirty work by helping them find a practical solution to an existing problem by integrating computer code in a cohesive product that can be monetize (keywords in the startup world is monetization and scalability). They prey on Designers and flaming hot cheetos and are preyed on by founders and not surprising…sunlight.
  • Swordfish – Founder creates marketable solutions to problems that affect a large number of people. (If you are Steve Jobs then you create stuff that people didn’t even know they need or want and you dominate the market by creating the future). They prey on developers, designers, sales/business development while being preyed upon by venture capitalists, pride and sleepless nights.
  • Sea Horse – Designer makes products look pretty. They prey on funyuns and chocolate why being preyed on by corrupt Adobe files.
  • Jelly Fish – VP of Marketing makes consumers aware of company products that can benefit them, juggle SEO, PPC, Social Media and everything related to marketing and advertising. They are sometimes known as the most important person in the room. They prey on consumers and act as prey for founders and CEOs.

Find out what the role of the CEO (whale), Social Marketer, Sales/Business Development, Outsourced Grunt Worker, Consumer (flock of fishes), and Attention-Deprived Significant Other (prey on romance novels and Words with Friends…ok I made that last one up) in the infographic.

I thought Udemy did a really great job of conveying the message but also allowed room for clever copy writing. The color was a little stale for me and they could easily go with a lighter and brighter palette. But overall I thought they did really great job of putting together some thoughtful content and shed light on the startup world.

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