In this case all paths lead to a startup.
The genesis of a startup may come from different sources depending on the experience, knowledge, motivation, inspiration and context of it’s founder or founding team.
The starting points could be:
1). Creation of a product
2). To serve a customer
3). Solve a worthy problem
4). A team of people working together
5). Scratching ones own itch
7). Identified new trends or new market
8). To improve existing offering
9). Inspired to contribute
10). Make a different
11). Fight against something (ie. unfairness, harm, environmental issues,…)
12). Doing the single thing they do well
(or a mix of above…)
However, for any startup to become a viable business, the different paths would need to converge to become:
” a (1) team of people whom enjoyed working together” (2) “to address a meaningful problem” for (3) “customers that they cared for” whom are (4) “ready to pay for their product” that (5) “is potentially scalable in a market” that is either (6) growing, ready to be disrupted or new, while (7) “building a sales channel that is sustainable” to create a profitable business.
Above is achieved by doing, validating, measuring, iterating, pivoting and doing this fast enough before the startup runs out of runway (ie. time, money, goodwill, market window of opportunities, etc).
Steve Blank definition of a startup is “an organisation formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model”.