Everything you want to know about stealth startup!

6 min read

“A valuable and unique startup idea can open opportunities you’ve never heard of.” – some successful entrepreneurs might say to encourage young ones. While it is true that most of the startups are walking the same path that many do, there are stealth startups that don’t.

Is it a company that keeps an ultimate product that can rewrite human history? Or is it a company working under governmental infrastructures? Well, it’s not like that, but it has some core parts of what we described.

Let’s see why stealth startups are different from the ordinary ones and why people need them in the first place!

Definition of Stealth Mode Startup Company

Enable the stealth mode!
Enable the stealth mode!

A stealth startup is a startup group working on a valuable idea that can solve some significant business problems under uncertain conditions. What makes them different is the fact that the product, developed by an entrepreneur(s) is hiding in complete secrecy. Meaning that no one, even the technology patterns, doesn’t know what you are working on.

To be more precise, there exist two types of stealth startups, which are:

  1. The first type is those who go “full stealth mode.”
  2. The second type focused on stealth mode inside the company.

The “total stealth mode” means that all the company’s actions are being hidden and concealed as much as possible. It can hide all of its activities to the point when a startup can mislead its real goals or operate under a temporary name. All the company details are being well-hidden inside the company HQ.

The “stealth inside the company” type is concerned with keeping the secrecy about its new project or a business idea as maximum confidentiality. For example, Microsoft has been known for keeping all of its projects under code-names, like Windows Vista’s name was Longhorn. All of this was done to keep up the maximum confidentiality and secrecy.

As a young entrepreneur, you won’t likely use this stealth mode startup for your first try. However, you should at least be aware of it and know how you can benefit it from. The amount of things that stealth startups do is enormous, and the list goes on.

  • Covert testing
  • Creating a cover story
  • Engaging informal sponsors
  • NDA documents for all stealth startup employees.
  • Leaving out some core business aspects to keep up the privacy bar.

What are the pros of Stealth Startup?

There are two major advantages that you can use for your benefit and reaching your secret company goals. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Intellectual Property Confidentiality

In case you are figuring out a unique idea that none of the companies or startups have created, this advantage is for you. With the stealth mode startup cover, you’ll get more development time, release your product and keep it confidential. That way, you can be sure that not a single soul can steal your idea.


If you are going through your stealth mode startup, no social media channels will notice you. Meaning that neither you nor your workers won’t have any public pressure for the things you are doing. And you can focus on the product development processes. Moreover, not even your competitors will understand who you are and what your intentions are.

Cons of Stealth Startup

As there are tremendous advantages made for a stealth startup, there are cons that cannot be overlooked. Some of them may affect your business stability or confidence. Let’s see each of them in more broad detail.

Difficulty to find the right market fit

A stealth mode startup makes it is hard to locate and identify your product’s primary consumers. You may say, “Well, the product should be available for everyone!”. But it’s not that easy as it might sound. You see, you need to determine your specific market fit to reach your company results. However, it requires definitive and in-depth marketing research and testing for various branding elements.

Lack of Customer Feedback

Customers and their feedback are some main things that impact the path of your startup development. But how are you going to gain any if you isolated yourself? How will you know whether you are on the right track and can succeed without this essential aspect? Some entrepreneurs may find out how they should escape from this issue. Simultaneously, others may realize this issue’s scale and shut down their businesses in mere months.

So how can we, as a digital agency that assists and launches various startups, can solve it for you? First, we create an NDA document that will guarantee your business idea’s safety, as we did with the Healthcare Project. Second, we can perform an audit of your marketing audience and test the theory campaign to understand your customers’ location. Lastly, we can prepare you for a confident business pitch you may need during your development process.

Want to know how you can do all of that and get a free bonus for your startup development? Leave your inquiry on a free Product Strategy Development Session and go through the Design and Discovery Phase to receive all of that!

No Marketing research and Lead Warming

Your startup is in full stealth mode, and that means that there is no direct marketing involved. If there is no marketing, that means no customer feedback, no proper marketing research, and no target audience awareness. It may sound optimal for those entrepreneurs who can analyze it during their active product development. But if you decided to go for startup funding, it might negatively impact your potential investors’ impression.

Should I go full stealth mode?

If you think that your startup is something that you and your team are okay with the stealth mode startup company, think again. Weight your options, seek which one can benefit you more and which option is the one that can guarantee that your startup will survive. Try to focus on these highlighted business points that you need to consider.

Do you know your customers’ desires?

The stealth mode makes it impossible to publicly search or collect feedback on your product’s current state. It is considered to be one of the most significant challenges in a stealth startup. Since you don’t want to waste your hard work, release your product and realize that not even a single customer is interested in it.

That’s why you should keep in your plans a section with the user feedback. Perhaps it won’t be public testing, but you should pay attention to this step since you’re risking a failure for your startup without it.

Do you understand the value of your idea?

Most software companies or startups tend to over-value their product. Ergo, when the time comes to demonstrate it to the public, it fails. You can’t assume that people will see your digital solution and will use it. That would be some black magic like David Blaine pulls off.

On the contrary, you should get adequate feedback on your product and convince the people why they should try. There may be many approaches and opportunities that you can use to target your market while in a stealth startup. Remember, your company seeks approval from the public to test your idea within the market scope.

Do you require funding?

Since you are running a startup, not a typical small business, you would need to seek funding. However, it’s not that easy as it might sound. Since your startup is in the dark, you can’t assume that every investor may want to sponsor you. Every investor is interested in two things: the value of your product and market acceptance. But how are they going to know these two aspects if you haven’t tested your product? Maybe you need to seek funding within your headquarters, who can support you?

All of these questions are coming from a straightforward sentence: funding gives life to your idea”. If you can’t perform market analysis, try to attract investors the other way around. You can try to rely on your team if they decide that your project is worth it. Otherwise, you should ask yourself whether you want to go down this road.

When is the launch time for Stealth Startup?

At some point, every stealth startup has to show its true colors and show what they’ve been hiding all along. So when should you do that?

You determined your target market

Whether you’ve identified your target audience before or during the launch of your stealth startup is a good thing to be proud of. Not only do you need to know who your customers are, but also how you can reach out to them. And that is the first step towards selling your digital solution.

As a digital agency, at JetRuby, we develop and launch successful products evolving their headquarters. They had trouble pinpointing their market niche, and some were stealth startups requiring in-depth marketing research. Once they tested their healthcare product within a closed beta, they knew they chose the right tech partner and the right business direction. You can launch your startup confidently with our assistance and support. Leave your inquiry on our free Product Development Strategy Session, and we’ll make a ballpark estimation for your business roadmap in no time!

Let’s say you are developing a new kind of tablet, which is explicitly different from others. In that case, narrow down the market niche that your product is going to fit the most. For example, it might be for industrial architectures or private hospitals that are cheaper and more functional than any other tablet out there.

It is time to develop and adapt your product

The timing and the place of your product launch are crucial for your startup success. It takes a reasonable amount of time to perfect your product, you need to know when the world will be ready to accept it. This applies to the revolutionary ones, the ones who can potentially conquer the hearts of your customers.

Do you remember how Microsoft has released its first creative product as a touch tablet? There are many vital reasons why Microsoft failed, but the base one is that the people were not ready to accept it. If you have a unique product developed under the stealth mode startup, you are more likely to dominate the market. And the big companies will have to pay for your solution rather than designing their own.

Your product is both unique and disruptive

This part is connected with the previous point. Once the society will be adapted and ready for your product launch, it has to be unique and disruptive. This means that it should cause a mini industrial revolution in a targeted market field. Many have seen such examples, like Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, and many others.

You might think that your project is outstanding among other competitors who are on your level. However, think about the big giant corporations and the feel of the product they are producing every day. Then ask yourself: Will my product conquer their ground and compete against them?” If you’re 100% positive, then stealth startup is the right thing for you. Otherwise, you can proceed with the usual startup stages and develop your product more confidently.


The stealth mode startup is a unique and peculiar one. It has its charm for producing and developing an innovative digital product that our world has yet to see. On one hand, if you run a stealth startup, you have the ultimate confidence in developing a unique product no one has ever done. On the other hand, the privacy factor allows you to exclude any public eye from your development process.

However, every young entrepreneur should be aware of the challenges and milestones are hidden on a stealth startup path. It does require a lot of attention and confidence for your actions, so measure thrice cut once! In contrast, the amateur ones should rely on the experience and knowledge of their previous mistakes and businesses that they have opened.

If you are a stealth startup that needs immediate support and tries its best to start a cover-up business, JetRuby can assist you. Our digital agency is ready to help such startups be hidden marketing research or guidance towards the right product development path. Leave a short description of your product concept, and we’ll get back to you during our free Product Development Strategy Session!

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