Howard Love Visits WFU to Share His Research on The Start-up J Curve

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communications Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

hlove-headshot-1On October 6, entrepreneur and angel investor Howard Love (P ‘18) spoke to all of the Deacon Springboard teams along with the ICE Advisory Council about his recently published book, The Start-up J Curve.

Love has founded or co-founded over 15 startups and has invested in another 50 in the past 30 years and covers what he recognizes as the pattern to entrepreneurial success in The Start-up J Curve.

According to Love, there are six steps or phases that can serve as a guidepost to entrepreneurial success. The first phase is the create phase. This is where the idea is initially developed. The creation of the idea, product, team and so on ultimately results in the venture’s release to market.

bookcover-1“Do you know what happens when you release your first product?” Love asked the audience. “Nothing. No one cares. It hits the market with a thud.” Which leads right into the crucial third phase: the morph.

The morph is the phase where the track of the startup will officially be decided: success or failure. “I call this the long cold winter, except it’s usually more than one winter” Love admitted.

However, if you make it through the winter and you pivot your idea so that it is “something people absolutely love,” you pass to the next phase: model.

Your idea is developed and established and this phase is focused on developing a plan and model that are functional and profitable. Once the model is solidified, it is time for growth, or rather time to scale.

s1230052You assemble the right idea, people, processes, investments, and you’re starting to see the startup succeed. Once the startup reaches the point where it feels the success is practically palpable, it has reached the final phase: harvest, where it’s not really a startup anymore at all.


One of the students in the audience immediately asked: “Well how did you make it through the long cold winter and see
harvest at such a young age without living under a bridge?”

Love smiled back. “I lived under my desk.”

To read more about Love’s ideas and the intricacies of the J curve, purchase a copy of the book here.

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