Startups can be so incredibly different, one from the other, but unfortunately we talk about them as if they’re all just startups.

It’s night and day, or apples and oranges. One person sets up a blog or a web page offering services, such as graphics, consulting or planning, and the business is born, voila! Another person gets a team together around a new business idea, and it takes establishing, developing a plan, pitch, prototype, seed funding and so on.

I’ve done a lot of work on how different a small service startup is from a product-related startup: There’s less risk but also less to gain, and usually nothing much in a service even to offer to investors. Products give you leverage, but they take a lot more risk and more money. And in this context, a website is a product, even if it offers a service.

I really liked Seth Godin’s post today, Making vs. Taking, because he gives a completely new angle on splitting things up. In this case, he’s talking about new ideas and new business vs. displacing or shaving off a piece of existing ideas. Making vs. taking is a good way to look at it.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.