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Natalya Brinza Project Manager

Startup Lifecycle: From Zero to Hero

The stages of startup’s growth can be associated with the growth of a plant. When a seed is planted, it grows to a stem with leaves, evolves and a flower appears.  The flower is a symbol of the plant’s maturity. In the entrepreneur’s world, maturity means transition from startup to regular business. In this article, I’m going to tell you how to make your startup bloom and not fade.

4 stages of a Startup lifecycle

1 Seed

We need to divide the most difficult and laborious stage into these paragraphs:

  1. pre-seed

Shortly: you have a thought about startup.

Perfect team: startuper, idea, fans.


  • create an idea or hypothesis of the product
  • find supporters
  • improve the idea

The period of product generation - it’s a time to find an army of fans, even if there is no product yet. You shouldn’t be afraid of telling people your idea just because it can be stolen. Nobody will bring a dream to life better than its creator! But better behave decently and independently. Then your supporters may become business angels later.

  1. seed

Shortly: the concept is done, fans have been found, the main stage is coming - creating business plan.

Perfect team: startuper + marketer.

From Zero to Hero


  • set the goals
  • analyze the market
  • define and study your customer
  • prove demand for the product

This is the stage to become responsible for the startup. As we say, “Give a dog a bad name and hang him.” The better you see the perspectives of your business, the more confident you will be in your actions. The narrower you choose the target audience, the more likely will be the demand for the product. Be attentive at this stage and go through each task in detail.

  1. MVP

Shortly: it’s time to make a prototype or MVP – minimum viable product.

Perfect team: startuper, marketer + 2-3 developers of the product


  • state the terms of reference
  • create an offer
  • analyze the result
  • take the most promising directions

It’s easy to check through MVP the idea or hypothesis with the least time and capital costs. Do not let the possibility of the startup collapse appear only due to the fact that you have abandoned the prototype.

“For initial users, there isn’t a hard and fast number, but you need enough users moving through so you can see whether people are sticking around and using your product or abandoning it.” – Morgan Brown
  1. product-market fit & product-channel fit

Shortly: MVP is growing, and you are going to enter the market.

Perfect team: startuper, marketer, developers + client manager, tester.


  • work  on the marketing strategy
  • find your business segment
  • count up Net Promoter Score; if it is higher than 8, then everything is fine. If it is below 8, review the marketing strategy
  • form an initial customer base
  • language-market fit – figure out how to talk about the product so that customers will accept and understand your message
  • do usability testing

Here comes marketer’s finest hour. His biggest task is to give as many insights as possible to your target audience about your product before the launch.

  1. death of valley

Shortly: investments have been made but there is no profit yet.

Perfect team: startupper and everyone who owns the money.


  • accumulate resources before the product launch
  • earn some money doing another job
  • use money from FFF (family, friends, fools – people who trust you and don’t mind investing a bit in your startup)
  • intensively look for business angels (some investments, a lot of bounds) and venture funds (attract finance, evaluate the project perspective and then invest)
  • take on loans, submit for grants

Death of valley - is the most responsible stage for you as a leader. Risk! Use any of the tasks. If it doesn’t work, proceed with another. Also, if you are already famous you can refer to the rich admirers for financial aid. The exit from the death of valley is vitally important.

2 Launch

Shortly: product launch and intensive work on brand promoting.

Perfect team: startuper, marketer, developers, tester, client-manager + lawyer,  accountant.


  • promote the product vigorously
  • keep in mind legal questions, such as brand registration
  • do testing, optimization and bug fixes
  • improve the product, the company's brand, and especially its leaders
  • research for investors

The hardest part of the startup is now behind, but a lot of troubles are waiting ahead.

Startup Lifecycle

3 Scale

Shortly: growth and expansion of the startup.

Perfect team for last two stages are growing and changing with the startup growth.


  • hire experts
  • do constant research of the market
  • form the corporate culture

A few words about last two stages - keep moving & believing and everything will be great.

4 Maturity

Shortly: beginning stage of a regular business


  • delegate the management
  • expand the staff, office
  • look for opportunities to open sub-offices abroad
  • keep growing and developing
“Growth is never done. LinkedIn is almost 20 years old and they continue to push growth experiments. Same goes for Facebook. Facebook has over a billion users and they are buying apps and rolling out tests, so it’s not like you check the box and move on.” -Morgan Brown

No startups are alike. The same can be said of the plants too. Your startup can turn out as a wheat spike or a huge oak. It all depends on you. The point is to grow it strong and stable.

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author Liza Kerimova Liza Kerimova
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