The Stealth Startup

stealth startup

A stealth startup is one which tries to avoid any public attention. So why would a startup try to avoid any attention because as we know, the more attention a business gets, the more potential customers.

The reasons for a startup operating in stealth mode can be the following.

Protecting the Idea – We all know that ideas, once in the public domain, get copied. Filing a patent is a lengthy and expensive proposition. Hence some entrepreneurs prefer to run their startup in the stealth mode upto a point where they are able to gain sufficient traction and headway over others who might look to copy the idea.

Product – Entrepreneurs running in stealth mode also look to keep fine-tuning their product before it goes into the public domain. Generally the product is tested with a small group of people who generally are asked to sign an NDA.

With these advantages comes some disadvantages of running in stealth mode.

Attracting Stakeholders – Without publicity, the stealth startup may find it difficult to attract stakeholders like employees and investors. The startup’s public image plays an important role in getting these stakeholders onboard.

Testing – Since the startup prefers to limit usage to only a handful of users, there may be a risk of getting results based on data which is inadequate and biased.


BloomReach is a startup which serves as a good example. They started out in stealth mode as they were trying to offer SEO as a service, a service which requires a lot of investment in the product and which could be copied quite easily. The team realised that good execution is more important than being out there early on itself. When the startup launched publicly, it was a great success.

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