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Conclusion 9

This book focuses primarily on the first two stages, concept and seed, since these form the foundation of any new enterprise. In both of these stages, the start-up's viability is determined by the interaction of as many as twelve different dimensions:

In the chapters indicated in the preceding list, a set of rules (in the form of questions) is presented for each of the twelve dimensions. These rules can be used to test the new company's readiness to leave the concept stage and/or seed stage. In Chapter 10, the rules for each dimension are summarized, and readers will learn how to apply the Bell-Mason Diagnostic to test a start-up's ability to meet the requirements for long-range success with respect to each dimension. Although, in the following chapters, the application of the diagnostic is discussed in detail for only the concept and seed stages (i.e., the first two, most critical stages), the diagnostic can, of course, be applied to an organization throughout all five stages of its growth.



This chapter has introduced the two basic concepts involved in examining a start-up: that start-ups are sequential in nature (i.e., a new firm passes through five discrete stages) and that all aspects of a company are important and must be considered in assessing a new venture's health. The relationship between these two basic concepts was illustrated in "computer-program" format in Figure 1-2, which presented a series of statements, grouped according to stage, with each statement involving one or more of the twelve dimensions.

The first of the twelve dimensions, "people," is also the most important, as readers are about to learn in Chapter 2.

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