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Is My Hairdresser A Startup?

3rd Feb 2016


Why is my local hairdresser not a start up but Atlassian is?

It used to be about the music. Bunch of friends getting some guitars and making noise in your garage, starting a band,  talking about the fame and fortune to come.

Now it’s all about a bunch of friends getting some ideas and making something in your garage, starting a start up and talking fame and fortune to come.

But what is a startup? 

How can a company like Atlassian be valued at $6 billion dollars and be a start up, but Con’s Barber and Blow be a business?

Let’s contrast and compare.

Atlassian is an enterprise software group of companies that develops products geared towards software developers and project managers. It is best known for its issue tracking application, JIRA, and its team collaboration product, Confluence.

Con’s Barber and Blow cut, trim, shape, and taper their clients' hair with Cathy on broom and admin. He is best known for using tools such as scissors, clippers, razors, and combs.

Age?  Two months old at Con’s, Atlassian is 168.

Venture capital? May not be valued at $6 billion but certainly has very engaged investors in second mortgage and Con’s father in law.

Digital? Squaredspace made website, with a second cousin working on an app. Atlassian has been making online stuff since 2002.

Agile? Con’s has an hour to hour changing schedule. Daily standards pshaw.

Lean? Cathy has sixteen different job titles.

Speed to market? 25 minutes you’re out the door. So another to Con’s crew.

Market driven?  Never ending market for Con, that hair keeps growing. Even a zombie apocalypse could not slow down our Sydney entrepreneurs. So that’s a draw.

Investing rounds? Atlassian. By a feather...

Pivot? Hence the Blow added to the cut. Confluence seems a better idea but.

Passionate? Who doesn’t love tracking projects accurately or a clippered number 3 noggin.

Scaleable?  Atlassian has offices internationally in six locations. Con and Cathy are thinking about filling the spare chair with someone really, really good at nails.

You’re not Atlassian yet. And unless you build a hair cutting robot or Uber-style apprentice programs probably going to stay that way but all in all  Con’s has all the start up ingredients required. Except for that whole investing round malarkey.

Welcome to the digital world Con, and good luck out there!