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Digital DNA

This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Hans Van Grieken is the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) Technology Research & Insights Leader within Deloitte’s global CIO programme. In this role, he helps shape Deloitte’s global research agenda in addition to identifying & driving a small number of EMEA research initiatives. He was present at Startup Istanbul 016 where he delivered a keynote speech on Digital DNA, Digital Transformation and Innovation.

The vital ingredient that makes humans tick is biological code, hard-wired in every cell, muscle, cheek, nose, mouth and even into your heartbeat, commanding your heart to stop beating would fail because it is not programmed to, the same way it was programmed to speed up when you exercise or slow down when you are taking a nap, that is the power of DNA, it is nature’s embedded software, that is hard-wired in every part of your organization.


This means that there would be something like a digital DNA, as an entrepreneur, it’s important to ask yourself “what digital DNA makes my startup tick?”, there may be new technologies out there that can bring your start-up’s DNA to stop. Imagine that you could understand the digital DNA of startups, that would allow you to reconfigure, recombine, and re-engage with your environment and make you very wealthy.


Hans represents the corporate world, but has a passion for startups and the ecosystem, his two children are working in the startup space, he has been a lecturer on digital disruption for the past 30 years, therefore he has interacted with students who all wanted to be successful entrepreneurs and build ideas.


As a consulting firm, Deloitte invests into understanding what startups do, they find the real talent. A simple but good question to ask is “what makes scaleups different from startups”, in 2015, Deloitte researched 400,000 startups from 24 countries, they found out that only one out of every 200 startups become scaleups ($10 million within 5 years). A scale-up is any startup that gets up to $10 million in revenue after 5 years, they also found out that all the successful startups have an entrepreneur who is over 40-years old among them, through other findings, Deloitte figured out that teams perform better. A lot of startups that turn to be scaleups are very good at timing, their main talent is waiting, to create the product and launch into the world when the market and the world is ready for them.


Only 25% of were designed to scale, so it is worth it learn about what makes a scaleup what it is. The research also shows that startups generate the most revenue in the first two years, and thereafter the revenue drastically reduces in the additional years, because they built their products. Using the concept of revenue median and average, revenue for surviving startups has experienced a steady increase.

In the past few years, the trends gotten from the research shows that the number of failing startups keep increasing every year, very limited groups of organizations make over a $500k – $1M+.

02 July 2019

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