Startups as Deviance

Yesterday evening I was attending these gentlemen (four young unemployed guys trying to find their way by their description) at a Ruby meeting held at CoLab. Their presentation was split in two parts. The first part was about going from zero to a demo application in Rails in just over four months (and some of the development decisions they made).

The second part was about their idea. This part attracted most of the questions, so we got to learn about the original idea and a bit about how it evolved along with the hazards they had to deal with on Azzure and Amazon virtual machines working with literally a zero budget. But although untold, the story of the way that the team formed and operates was also presented. And while thinking about it, it struck me that it followed the Best and Luckenbill model from “Organising Deviance”:

Form of Organization Mutual Association Mutual Participation Division of Labor Extended Organization
Loners no no no no
Colleagues yes no no no
Peers yes yes no no
Mobs yes yes yes no
Formal Organizations yes yes yes yes

I would call these 4 young men Peers by the model above, because although some division of labor exists, it is not to the point of separation of duties yet. But while I am writing this, I am thinking that the parallels with the Best and Luckenbill model are to be expected. For what are startups if not deviant organisations aiming to disrupt the status quo in their own way?

deviance, n.:
a state or condition markedly different from the norm

I wonder how fast these guys are going to transform to a Formal Organization once they receive funding.

2 thoughts on “Startups as Deviance

    1. Damn! I was sitting with a colleague at the last row. We were the ones that commented that in our early 20s we were not even thinking about entrepreneurship like the Geembos.

      Unfortunately we had to leave right after the event. Next time then!

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