Are You a Startup Candidate?
I’m currently recruiting a few lead qualification/generation positions for Xtium, our newest portfolio company. The recruitment efforts have gone well, but a lot of candidates have asked me how we can consider Xtium a “startup” when they were founded in 2004. For all you math whizzes out there, that means Xtium has been around for about 7 years. How I explain this to candidates is fairly simple. By definition, a startup is a “company with a limited operating history.”
If you think back to 2004, I can say with confidence that you had no idea what the cloud was or what its purpose was. Seeing that Xtium is a leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider enabling managed private cloud computing, virtual hosting and virtual disaster recovery, I’m sure people were experiencing brain aneurysms immediately after hearing about their product. Being the pioneers that they are, Xtium was way ahead of their time and the world in 2004 was simply not ready for their value proposition.
Now, however, the cloud seems to be all the rage and the hottest topic in every tech startup discussion. It’s no coincidence why Xtium has picked up some heavy-hitting customers such as Intel, Toyota, Honeywell, Best Buy, SAP and the like. The company simply had to wait it out and allow its audience to understand their business needs. So for any recruiters, venture capitalists or entrepreneurs who sometimes wonder what constitutes a startup, don’t be completely misled by its date of inception (although it is a decent rule of thumb).
At the same time, you shouldn’t categorize a startup by its number of employees either. True, with only 15 employees, the startup title seems quite fitting for Xtium. However, uSamp, another one of our portfolio companies, has been around since 2008 and already has 180 employees worldwide. Let’s not forget Groupon, which is technically a startup and has roughly 9600 employees (although they may have hired too much, too quickly).
Hopefully, with all this in mind, you can now more easily understand what it truly means to be a startup. If you happen to be an Xtium candidate reading this, consider yourself very lucky — this is one startup that is positioned for some serious growth!