Definition

startup culture

Contributor(s): Kristen Lee

A startup culture is a workplace environment that values creative problem solving, open communication and a flat hierarchy.

In a corporate culture, core values are typically informed by the identity of the company, including its mission statement, products and customer service. In startup cultures, these core values tend to reflect the personalities and ethos of the people who worked for the business in the early days. Because new businesses must adapt quickly to internal and external market pressures in order to survive, a startup culture also promotes business agility and adaptability as being key virtues.

The workplace values supported by startup cultures are increasingly resonating with business leaders at large organizations. As the pace of business speeds up, quickened in part by advances in technology, large companies are realizing that they could benefit greatly by putting more emphasis on startup culture values, including the value of the individual. In some industries, the positive qualities gained by embracing a startup culture is referred to as kaizen

This was last updated in June 2014

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