How Grunge Sums Up Seattle’s Incredible Startup Mentality

Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks are just three of the startups to call Seattle their home. But that’s not all the Pacific Northwest’s largest city is known for. Along with Fraiser, grunge put Seattle on the global map in the early to mid 90s.

Grunge and Starbucks share more than just a city. They have a shared mentality that defines Seattle. Below I have explained how Cobain, Cornell, Cantrell, and the rest of grunge sum up Seattle’s incredible startup mentality.

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Strong leaders who effectively convey their ideas

Strong leadership is one of the key requirements for a successful startup. You’ll need to be stubborn, driven, and able to effectively convey your ideas to the people responsible for helping you realize them.

Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) may appear to have little in common. However, they are both the leaders of their life’s work and convinced other people to buy into and realize their ambitions.

Alongside Cobain, grunge can count Chris Cornell, Mark Arm, Jerry Cantrell, and a whole host others among its ranks. Making strong leadership one of the ways that grunge sums up Seattle’s incredible startup mentality.

Unsettling the status quo

Startups bring fresh new ideas to an industry. This could be by reworking existing solutions to a problem, or providing a new and visionary product/service that addresses an issue you weren’t aware existed.

Prior to the release of Nevermind, the charts was dominated by glistening pop and well-manicured hair metal. Within the space of four months it had knocked Michael Jackson’s Dangerous off the top of the US Billboard 200 chart.

Grunge took punk, metal, beat, indie-pop, classic rock, and a range of other influences together and created something vibrant. Today you need look no further than Blokable, one of Seattle’s many wonderful startups, to see a company taking available materials and building (literally) something new.

DIY ethic – with a little help from your friends

By definition, startups are DIY. For many different reasons, you’ve decided you have the product to answer to a question posed by society or the global market. You then strike out and make this a reality.

Grunge came to prominence as a self-sufficient community. The bands were signed to one label (Sub Pop) and used the same producer (Jack Endino). The artists shared the same stages, went on tour together, and played in each other’s bands. Most importantly, though, they did it all themselves – before their fan bases grew large enough for investors to take notice.

Seattle is ripe with creatives and communities of artists who have taken the DIY approach to business. Steampunk Addiction, one of the top businesses available in Seattle, is a startup. Built as a side project, it’s been created from scratch by its owners. Like Steampunk Addiction, grunge’s DIY spirit sums up Seattle’s incredible startup mentality.

Grunge is one of the Emerald City’s most enduring and penetrating contributions to US and the world. It’s part of the city’s rich artistic, business, and geographical history. It also neatly sums up Seattle’s incredible startup mentality.

No matter where you are, take inspiration from grunge, Amazon, Blokable, Steampunk Addiction, and one of the many other brilliant Seattle startups by starting your own business today.

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