Everything About How Startups Succeed Is Changing in 2023

How Three Events Created A Permanent Shift In Growth Strategy

Joe Procopio
4 min readDec 29, 2022


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There’s a reason why a lot of the more recent news articles and thought pieces about startup success sound hopeless. It’s because the threads binding what a lot of people thought of as the conventional strategy for startup success are unraveling at a quickening pace.

I liken this shift in startup strategy to a similar shift that has permanently changed the way we think of movies, because the changes are only separated by a few years. Plus everyone understands movies.

It used to be that if you wanted to release a successful movie, you would:

  • Write a great script (Like a great startup idea).
  • Get the script greenlit (Seed funding).
  • Attach some buzzworthy actors (Experienced talent).
  • Strike a deal with a major Hollywood producer (Series A funding).
  • Film it and try like hell to stay under budget (Early stage).
  • Launch into 2000 theaters and cross your fingers (Go to market).
  • Depending on the box office return, either fire up a sequel or go get a real job.

This went on for decades. But over the last ten years, the mainstreaming of streaming changed everything about how we consume long-form filmed entertainment. The pandemic lockdowns accelerated those changes and are making them permanent.

And while the Hollywood machine can still produce the occasional blockbuster sequel that succeeds the traditional way (Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), the big box-office bombs keep piling up, and we’re never going back.

Over the last five years, three massive changes have similarly shaken the startup universe. In 2022, those changes locked in, and they’ve shifted the traditional growth path, possibly permanently.

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com