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The Startup Company’s Hierarchy of Needs

In an article for the Huffington Post, Steve Rosenbaum CEO of, created a Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for startup companies.

Rosenbaum took Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and applied them to how they pertain to startup companies and what they really need to get going. Like Maslow, Rosenbaum puts the Physiological needs at the bottom. He states that before, many startups would have to travel to Silicon Valley to be successful because that’s where the money, talent and exits were. Today, it’s not necessarily something that startups need to do. Rosenbaum states that “with communities like General Assembly, Hive 55, and co-working spaces like New Work City and WeWork Labs, the basic needs of a roof and a place to access WiFi are now available for entrepreneurs with an idea and a small team.”

In Maslow’s pyramid, Safety comes next and along with it, the freedom of fear. Rosenbaum argues that for astartup, the fear of being taken out by your competitor is necessary to survive and stay ahead of the market. Safety is needed, yes, but freedom of fear, not one bit. “Entrepreneurs are driven by the pace of innovation, the opportunity to lead rather than follow the market,” says Rosenbaum.

The next level is Belonging. Several times in the Huffington article, Rosembaum compares Silcone Valley and New York. With respect to this level, he believes New Yorkers have a leg up. According to him, New Yorkers are part of a larger whole and have a better sense of belonging rather than those in the Valley. Silicon Valley is described as more isolated and posses more of a “dog eat dog” mentality than New Yorkers. That’s not to say New Yorkers lack competitiveness, that’s clearly a false statement, but he says that it is collaborative too. “Amazing groups of people come to learn, share, support and cheer on winners. New York is a community, and membership is open to anyone who wants to belong. The Valley, not so much.”

Almost at the top of the pyramid is Self-Esteem. This level is about recognition and respect. Back to the comparison, Rosenbaum believes New York beats the Valley here again. We’ll just let Rosenbaum’s words speak for themselves here. ” New York is proud of its own, and the growing media and social media footprint of New York can’t be denied. Trade shows, conferences, gatherings, internet and social media weeks. There’s no doubt that in the past, the Valley’s geography and narrow focus on tech made it the place for startups to take root. But today, New York has reached a tipping point, and now you can find a startup at every Starbucks and as the growing tenants in large portions of the city. Increasingly, we’re the new face of the city.”

At the top of the pyramid lies Self-Actualization. For Maslow, self-actualization encompasses “an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake, and the dishonest in personality, and in general to judge the people correctly and efficiently.” For Rosenbaum, self-actualization is “the pursuit of inner talent and creative fulfillment.” According to him, New York has a head start over anywhere else in the world. “A diverse, vibrant, fast moving, intensely social urban landscape that provides an ideal test bed for new ideas and a launch pad for new companies,” boasts Rosenbaum.

According to Rosenbaum and his Hierarchy of Startup Needs, if you are a startup company looking to launch, Silicon Valley is likely not the best place to do it anymore. Today, the stomping grounds for startup companies is clearly New York. Well, in Rosembaum’s eyes at the very least.


SOURCE: The Huffington Post

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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