For sure, the Indian startup space has arrived. Note that I am referring to the 'startup space' and not startups - because, for all you and I know - (most) startups are still struggling and these are the defining moments in their lives.
The startup space has arrived thanks to the media attention that startups have been receiving over the last 1.5-2 years. Given that Pluggd.in / NextBigWhat has been around for a very long time and we have seen the space grow (and some startups too!).
If we were to chart the timeline and sentiments around the startup space, this is how it'll be (and ofcourse, explained through GIFs).
Before 2013 : When startups were untouchables.
That is, just IGNORE!!! It was difficult for startups to even get any media attention.
2014 : That's when the funding party started.
And media jumped to the bandwagon and the funding news started to make splash on the front pages as well (which helped startups to go mainstream)
Coverage was bought / paid and everybody was enjoying the party.
2014 : Suck up by investors and founders.
Everybody was almost licking up media's a$$.
To me, this was the most ball-less thing that ever happened in the startup space. Investors and founders started sucking up / rather giving in to media's demands. I know of several instances when founders delayed the product launch because media wasn't ready for the coverage!!
Collaborating is one thing. Giving-in is totally different (it still happens, by the way).
This is when media got an upper hand and started dictating its terms and conditions (_give us an exclusive news or else, we will do.. _!
Infact, some of the unicorn startup founders have a budget of INR 4-5 crores to handle media.
2015 : Suck up continued.
Founders equated media mention to success. So did investors!
Awards were bought. Rate cards were laid out.
2016 : Media's New Mantra : SCREW THEM!
Media lives in the world of extremes - either you are god or you are an asshole. The 2016 mission in media companies is to bring down the startup space and make them look bad.
Primarily because nothing else is happening and there aren't sensational stories left (for now).
Ofcourse, this ain't a great time in the startup world (funding winter, layoffs raining), but things aren't as bad as media is trying to portray (each and every startup is and will continue to go through shit moments - but amazing how media simply writes them off / pre maturely announces their funding/M&A talks etc).
For media, the game is very simple :
You put the founders in a pedestal - you get pageiews.
You write them off, you get pageviews.
My sincere note to founders: