Steve Blank definitely has a great insight on this.
The terminology he uses is "Scalable Startup". This is analogous to what this community refers to as the funded, go-big or go-home type of company. The only difference between a Scalable Startup and a Small Business (or lifestyle business as it's also referred to) is merely one of vision, risk, and personality.
And watch this: http://www.justin.tv/startuplessonslearned/b/262670582
In summary, Scalable Startups generally:
- Need risk capital (aka Venture or Angel funding)
- "They wanted to build an industry not just a product or a company"
- "They believed their vision and work was going to be worth a lot more – or zero"
- Vision for a $100 million/year company by creating an entirely new market
- "They used Customer and Agile development to search for a scalable and repeatable business model to become a large company"
- "They hired a world-class team with co-founders and early employees who shared their vision"
- "They fervently believed that only they were the ones who could and would make this happen."
Small Businesses (the other 5 million in the US) generally:
- "...may want to grower larger, but they aren’t focused on replacing an incumbent in an existing market or creating a new market"
- "The size of their opportunity and company doesn’t lend itself to attracting venture capital"
- "Grow their business via profits or traditional bank financing"
- "...have a predictable revenue stream for the owner, with reasonable risk and reasonable effort and without the need to bring in world-class engineers and managers"
It should be noted that there is nothing wrong with either type of business, and there is no bias towards a particular industry. Some people want to run a single bakery, others want to supply bread to every fast-food restaurant in the nation.