What is a Software Startup?
There’s no better time to build a software startup than today. If you’re new to the software industry, you need to learn the basics of building a startup that specializes in developing and selling software to end-users. Let’s start.
What do LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Pinterest have in common? They are all prominent software companies that were once startups. Every year, thousands of hopefuls set their eyes on becoming the next success story in the highly competitive software industry.
But before anyone can carve their software success story, let’s first learn what a software startup is. What does it do and how is it any different from an IT company? In this article, we dive deep into the interesting world of software startups.
What is a Software Startup?
A software startup is a new company that develops, sells, and distributes different types of software products or services. Most software startups aim to dominate a high-growth market on limited resources.
Since they’re new, they don’t have the operating history or background. Their lack of business history often poses some challenges in their operations. This may include funding and hiring top-level talents.
There are different types of software companies. These are:
- Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) company – they provide packaged software and hardware solution that are readily available to the general public. Microsoft Office and G Suite are just a few of the COTS products built for individuals and business users.
- Custom software development – they customize technology solutions to clients with software needs beyond what COTS may offer. Typically, they are more expensive than other software alternatives.
- Software-as-a-Service – A SaaS company operates on a software licensing model. A user can access their software on a subscription basis. They host the software on their servers where users can access them remotely. MailChimp, Salesforce, and HubSpot are a few of the popular SaaS companies.
- Independent Software Vendor (ISV) – an organization that creates, markets, and sells software to end-users. Their software runs on one or more operating systems, hardware, and cloud platforms.
Types of Software
Software refers to a collection of electronic programs or instructions that tell computers what to do. On the contrary, the hardware is the physical component where a system can run and perform the tasks. Examples of hardware are the mouse, hard drive, and keyboard.
There are two types of software. These are System Software and Application Software.
System software refers to computer programs designed to run the computer itself. It manages the hardware to deliver the functionalities needed by the user. In other words, it acts as a middleman between the computer hardware and the user. Without the system software, we won’t be able to instruct our computers to do anything we want.
It has three main types. These are the operating system, utility software, and language processor. Apple’s macOS, Google’s Android, the USB driver, and the Windows File Explorer are some of the best examples of system software.
Simply known as applications, application software refers to a program or group of programs that allow users to accomplish their tasks. These tasks can be typing a word document, sending an email, or designing an image.
Also, the specific software is unique to the task it was designed for. So, it can be as straightforward as a desktop calculator or complex as a spreadsheet application.
For example, you want to create a simple presentation. The presentation application will already come with slide designs, special effects, and a layout. The users will only need to tweak these features on their own. Some examples of applications are the web browser, word processor, media player, and many more.
Roles in a Software Startup
Building a software startup requires experts from different fields. Generally, it consists of three main teams:
- Software Developers – they code the software and build the technical requirements
- Software Testers – people responsible for managing quality control.
- Business Analysts – they identify the market needs.
In large software enterprises, they may need more specialization. So, they may also have these people on their team:
- User experience designer – creates the design based on the project specifications.
- Technical writers – responsible for the documentation and writing user manuals.
- Software consultants – some organizations may need specialized skills and knowledge to bring solutions to the company.
IT Company vs. Software Company
In fact, the term IT (Information Technology) is broad in and of itself. It encompasses computers, technologies, and software to fulfill specific tasks.
Oftentimes, some people confuse an IT company with a software company. This confusion stems from the fact that both types belong to the same industry. While they may be similar, each exhibits different roles.
In a nutshell, IT companies address all aspects of IT. In contrast, software companies all aspects involved in creating software. Let’s explore each one further.
An IT company manages the device storage, retrieval, and delivery of information. Aside from keeping computers working, they run different things behind the scenes.
IT companies allow people to optimize devices and systems so that it works efficiently for the organization. They assist different departments in accessing information, automate tasks, and communicate using the technology.
Some of the critical tasks that IT companies do are:
- Ensure devices are working smoothly
- Keep data secure and private
- Install new software and hardware
- Provide technical support
- Oversees systems and network
- Create policies regarding user access and permissions
A software company develops products or software users will use for their everyday tasks. Their day-to-day operations include product development, programming, and designing.
At the heart of what software companies do is development. It’s the initial stage that builds products that users will find useful. Second, software companies incorporate design elements to ensure that the software is functional. Lastly, programming is the inners workings of the software itself. Software programmers code the software and ensure that software products function according to their purpose.
Building a Successful Software Startup
Hopefully, this article gives you an idea of what a software startup does. They are the strong pillars of technological advancements, providing value to their end users.
If you’re looking for a dedicated team for your startup, we can help. At Full Scale, we deliver expert consultation, recruitment, and deployment of software developers for different types of software projects. We are an offshore software development company with years of expertise in web development, data science, project management, and more.
Our team abides by our Guided Development philosophy, giving our clients the ability to scale up their startup. To know more, get in touch with us today.