Over on my personal blog I just wrapped up a series of posts on the stages of a technology startup. The purpose of the series was to offer a framework to explain the operational stages of a startup to entrepreneurs. Like any framework it generalizes the complex and removes precision. I thought it would be a good idea to summarize them here. You should hit the links if you are interested in learning more or adding your thoughts.
Key element is creating the basic value proposition and testing it in the market. One or two people, working part-time. No product.
Key element is product development. Business focus is researching potential market opportunity to refine the business model. Product is raw but customers are using it. Perhaps a full-time person. More if some type of funding or revenue is garnered.
Key element is market development. Proving that customers are willing to use and pay for your stuff. Business focus is sales and marketing. Whole product is complete. Team is growing, there are employees. Revenues exceed $500k.
The key element is scale. Business focus is accelerating market adoption. Whole product is being extended to address new markets. More then 30 employees. More then $1 million in revenue.