I spend a lot of time with start up companies. To be specific, I spend more time with start up companies than I spend with my wife. That is actually true and explains why despite 22 years of marriage, I think I understand start up companies better than I understand women. With that in mind, I’ve observed and want to share my thoughts about the evolutionary stages that start ups go through as a framework for understanding them better. I think this matters for you as a start up company or, perhaps even more importantly, for you as an advisor to start up companies.