Is there a guaranteed way to using the minimal ingredients to recognize and design a startup? If you know this, you would then be able to sit on the side line and wait for the best opportunity to come.
Startup has multiple facets.
Number 1, a startup must survive, immediately. If you spend a lot of time preparing and researching and burn money to fan hope, it typically won't work.
Number 2, a startup must grow big. A startup must have an idealistic side supported by industry positioning, initial customer positioning, and market volume. You cannot expect to build a company that will not grow. No one will fund it, and of course, it truly would not grow. A self fulfilled doom cycle.
Number 3, a startup has an artisan side. You must offer something that has unique value, unique quality or extremely low price. It takes a lot of work to make a product that would be deemed worthy, beautiful, sexy, and impulsive. The artisan side is combined with technology side to give the product the best quality, which in turn guarantees the barrier of entry for would be followers - they have to beat you.
Number 4, a startup is a mixture of new and old. You use new technology and method to build a value producing machine that replaces an old. You must start earlier than everyone else, and then you must compete and take over the big boy's cheese. It takes a unique folded vision from someone who have been through the process multiple times.