The startup race

What a time to start a business

January 2021

As we turned the page on a new year (and another lockdown) I heard a lot of social chatter from people starting businesses. I guess a spirit of renewal was to be expected after the horrible year that was 2020.

Having taken the opposite journey to many entrepreneurs, it made me reflective. I ran a small business for many years before jumping aboard the corporate train and it got me wondering what it's like to start a business now?

I don't remember starting up in 2001 being easy, even in the UK. The rules and paperwork baffled me and there was always a sense of red tape getting in the way of doing actual work.

As is my way, I found myself hunting for data on the topic and stumbling on this happy story - which I turned into the Tableau dashboard below...

It's the least work I've done on a dashboard in a while so it was a big surprise when it got picked as a "Viz of the Day". I was obviously hugely pleased but (honestly!) not just for the bragging rights.

Feedback from my peers revealed a sense of relief that Tableau values clear insight and a solid design as much as they value almost unobtainably clever techniques and postgrad maths. I think we all want to feel like these awards are obtainable, without having to give every waking hour to being innovative.

Simple can be good too. Analyse the data then tell your story - that's the real job.

Good luck to anyone starting a business! I can promise you a wild ride.

Data source: World Bank (Doing Business Project)

Tool: Tableau