When you tell people you are doing a start-up it is deeply implied you're doing something with the hopes of hitting it big. Because if it wasn't you would just tell them you "run a roofing company" or are "an electrician" or "sell stationary on the internet"
A start-up, even to non-technicals, connotes an attempt to hit it big.
Getting really big then exiting basically necessitates that you have to be in a mass-market business. But do only mass-market businesses get to call themselves start-ups? Is there no place for start-ups in specialized fields with significant revenue potential but without the kind of universal applicability that makes VC's wet their pants?
I'm currently developing SaaS for a certain service industry in Sweden.
I wouldn't say this is hitting it small, nor is it batting for the major leagues. It's a decent sized chunk of project that will build the skills and capital needed for our next level-up sometime in the future.
Do you really agree that "The concept of entrepreneurism as a small-time life-style has evaporated from the culture"?