An article published on Quaderni di sociologia (Sociology Journals) describes and comprehensively analyses the phenomenon of startup companies

A young company has a its own particular view of the world and of production organisation. A view that is different from that of “experienced” companies, the companies which today go by the name of startup companies have their own culture and way of being, a particular approach that distinguishes them from the remainder of the production system in a given territory. This is the future – if it is able to be -, but also the expression of a changing production heritage. One that manages to create something new. One that deserves to be read with caution.

That is what Alfredo Ferrara, from the Department of Political Science – University of Bari “A. Moro” has done in his article entitled “L’ideologia startup tra rigenerazione capitalistica e processi di rimozione” (The startup ideology between capitalist regeneration and removal processes) which was published a few weeks ago on Quaderni di sociologia (Sociology Journals).

The study provides an up-to-date and exhaustive snapshot of the concept of startup companies, tracking their boundaries and applications.After a presentation of the objectives and of the method used to delineate the topic, Ferrara proceeds with clarity by listing and examining what he defines as the “thematic points” that characterise the lines of corporate culture of startup companies. These are glimpses of a history shared by many companies and that, clearly, outline the same ideal figure of the entrepreneur and his approach to life as well as to work. The “thematic points” identified by Ferrara are therefore: Independence, risk and ambition; “Zero ego”; passion and full involvement; Remaining people and telling one’s experience; Cosmopolitanism; Making history with innovation: rhythm and speed of execution; Priority to ideas; Information technologies; Cooperation between co-founders; Competition; A capital that believes in dreams.An investigation is dedicated to each topic, then the author outlines the overall figure of   startupper entrepreneurs and their creatures. “Startuppers – Ferrara goes on to write, are not cold calculators who govern the production processes from a distance but first generation entrepreneurs who impose their own personality onto a company they set up themselves and do not inherit, they govern according to their own style and personally assume risks without relying on professionals from management and on the routine of middle managers; in it, startuppers decline their own vision and their own skills, not confining the innovation processes to the research and development departments”. Ferrara therefore outlines a well-rounded figure of an entrepreneur, who manages to combine old and new, tradition and innovation, giving rise to something different and yet deeply rooted in the best history of business possible. Ferrara continues: “The startup ideology therefore celebrates a dual entrepreneurship of the beginning: in the diachronic sense, of the beginning of the history of capitalism, in other words not yet burdened by processes of depersonalisation and automation; in a synchronic sense, i.e. the founding phase of a company, yet still shielded from the corporate routine, from the need to preserve the market shares, etc.”.

The article by Alfredo Ferrara is certainly a good guide to start to organise and arrange the information which gravitate around the culture of startup companies.


L’ideologia startup tra rigenerazione capitalistica e processi di rimozione (The startup ideology between capitalist regeneration and removal processes)

Alfredo Ferrara

Quaderni di sociologia (Sociology Journals), 73 | 2017, 49-66.