‘Adopt lean startup methodologies’ is seen by many as the best advice to give startups, but how do we know if this advice is making a substantial positive contribution to the wider economy?

I’ve started to put together a basic set of questions regarding ‘startup impact’ in the context of ‘startup support that we should be measuring’.

Please let me know if there are issues that I’ve left out (e.g., things to do with how we facilitate the creation of the startups that we are measuring).

(1) can the impact of startups on the economy be effectively measured by the number/percentage of:

        • new startups?
        • new jobs created by startups?
        • startup exits (or their average exit value)?
        • startups using lean/other methodologies?

(2) can that impact be measured by determining:

        • the life expectancy/longevity of startups?
        • the amount of investment startups secure?
        • the quality/sustainability/remuneration/skill levels of the jobs created by startups?
        • the average disposable income of startup founders/early hires?
        • the percentage of failed startups (versus that of other/no methodologies)?
        • sector/geography/market/demographic segment specific characteristics of startups?

(3) can that impact be measured by the contribution of startups to improvements in the local/regional/state:

        • exports
        • infrastructure development
        • quality of life
        • working conditions
        • work attitudes
        • levels of consumer demand
        • business-to-business (b2b) trade
        • effectiveness/survivability/growth of established (rather than just startup) operations
        • scientific/technological progress
        • social activity/cohesion
        • tourism
        • sustainability
        • work skills development/educational infrastructure
        • healthcare/social services
        • residential/business accommodation
        • cultural resources

(4) can that impact be measured in terms of making a contribution to the startup development process itself, in terms of:

        • mentoring resources
        • investment in startups
        • startup incubation/acceleration schemes and competitions
        • individuals deciding to found/work in/support startups
        • positive/well-informed sentiment towards startups in popular culture

(5) is it just too early to ask/tell?

There will come a time when ‘yes’ won’t be a good enough answer to this last question, so perhaps we’d better start preparing.