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What Do Startups Really Need to Thrive?

Beginning your startupThe startup scene in Asia is on the rise, from big players like Singapore and Tokyo to newer hubs like Shanghai and Shenzhen. Startup hubs like Silicon Valley got a bit of a head start on Asian startup ecosystems, as they’ve been called.

Having such an ecosystem, however, may not be vital to starting a successful new business. Asian startups probably don’t have to be in the U.S. or even near prominent Asian cities to get results. After all, Silicon Valley didn’t start out with a preplanned ecosystem and costs, as well as the barrier to entry, are lower too. The internet, while not the answer to everything, can help by connecting businesses with customers, investors and workers around the world.

If an established ecosystem, or even a physical office, aren’t necessary to launch a startup, then what does one really need to thrive?


One of the most important things a startup needs to flourish is adaptability. Starting a new business involves plenty of unexpected challenges, and company leaders need to be willing to face those problems head on. This means knowing when things need to be outsourced, when to invest in new equipment, etc.

Technology is also constantly evolving and changing the worlds of marketing, finance and more. You need to be willing to adapt to and embrace these shifts, so your business doesn’t fall behind its competitors.

As you analyze your successes and failures and receive feedback on your performance, you’ll need to learn quickly and adjust your strategies.

Something Unique

Another feature a startup needs to thrive is some level of uniqueness. It doesn’t have to based on a completely new concept, but it should be something that has the ability to get people excited. Your company should at least take an existing idea and do it better than anyone or do it in a new way.

Being unique gives people something to build a community around, and that can be valuable for businesses. Building a dedicated community both online and in the real world can do wonders for an emerging company.

A Diverse Team

In order to succeed, a startup needs a team that’s both dedicated and diverse. You’ll need leadership, marketing, tech, sales and many more capabilities. You probably won’t be able to find all the qualities you need in one person, so building the right team is crucial. 

The attitude of the company’s founders can do a lot to propel it forward and keep it going through difficult times. The mindset and skills of the rest of the startup’s team can be just as important.

Diversified Value

Not only does an effective startup need a diverse team, but it also needs to be able to demonstrate its value to potential customers, investors and new employees.

A startup must solve a problem for customers that they are willing to pay for, as well as be able to show investors why their idea is worthwhile. Treating employees like the valuable assets they are and creating a positive company culture can help demonstrate value to future employees and help grow your team.


Perhaps the most important characteristic a startup and its team needs is passion. It might sound like a cliché, but starting a new business isn’t easy and you’ll need passion to keep the project moving forward.

Keeping the goals in mind that made you want to start the company in the first place can help you to stick with it as it evolves and as challenges arise. Recognizing the value of your employees and partners and appreciating their input can help instill this passion in them as well.

Startup hubs are popping up around the world. In Asia, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, entrepreneurs are also launching new businesses and projects outside of the most prominent startup ecosystems. While a supportive environment is, of course, helpful, it may not be necessary to start a new and exciting business venture. What seems to be more crucial is the attributes that the company and its team demonstrate.

Anum Yoon is a personal finance writer who believes that financial literacy is the key – especially for women - to lead a more purposeful and inspired life. She is the founder and editor of millennial money blog, Current On Currency.

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