It’s an interesting title, but of course by definition a start-up really is a start-up. Unless, of course, the definition doesn’t adequately describe the start-up. We start with this comment because the word ‘start-up’ evokes any number of impressions, mostly uncertainty with respect to the ability of the new company to deliver on its promise. Merriam-Webster defines a start-up as a ‘fledgling business enterprise’. Even the word ‘fledgling’, while accurate, suggests inexperience, and that suggests risk.
However, if the only feature associated with the word start-up is ‘risk’, why would anyone create a start-up? And why would so many startups be wildly successful? This is why one should look beyond the surface to the benefits of choosing a startup.
Three reasons to choose a newer software partner come immediately to mind.
- Design: Contemporary design that meets current Insurer needs
Software systems that are ‘established’ using older databases and tools–and have the complexity of many implementations impacting the core—are not contemporary and certainly not fresh. That software may have some uniqueness, but because there is a legacy behind the current, it will not have the feel of something that breaks through the tradition. It is a accumulation of years of tweaks, patches and rewrites, which are likely unseen by the user, but make it difficult to service over time.
A start-up will not have that baggage, but, will have characteristics that are unique to the market, features and functions that other software doesn’t have and likely by their design will never be able to achieve.
- Expertise: A partner that understands your business enough to implement the right tools for the job.
- The new company must have the experience and technical expertise to give confidence to the purchaser that the implementation will be successful. Yes, the software is new to the market, but due diligence should detect if the software does what it is represented to do. Therefore, the greatest risk is whether the staff involved has the expertise to put the client-specific pieces into motion such that the software meets the requirements without losing the power of the innovations that are present in the new design or approach. Having a staff with years of experience creating systems and running insurance companies prior to founding the startup mitigates the question of expertise.
- Drive: Client service and satisfaction
In terms of motivation to build an ecstatic client base, the start-up is more likely to put everything they have into a successful implementation. Every time. There is no resting on the history of a brand name to secure the contract and then simply go through the motions of yet another implementation. The carnage of abandoned implementations suggests the motivation to create an ecstatic client doesn’t always exist with ‘established’ companies. That motivation to go above and beyond must exist with the startup: it is the only way it can survive and thrive.
Which is all to say that if the software does what it is intended to do, especially in fresh and innovative ways, and the people have the experience, historic success and the drive to change the status quo, that is when a start-up isn’t a start-up.
~ Bill Montei, CEO, founded Megalodon Insurance Systems with a simple yet BIG idea: provide small and mid-sized insurance companies powerful policy & claims management software solutions at a price that is within reach. To talk to Bill directly, please call: (608) 709-2154.