I don't know who came up with the starter step, I have a theory it was from some other dance style and they felt west coast needed something. But whatever the origin, it's crap.
It doesn't work
No one does it.
It's a myth.
At a recent event my friend said "Hey I can't figure out the starter step in this country, I keep making a fool of myself at the start of every dance, then I have to build back some trust after making the follow think I'm incompetent, what am I doing wrong..."... and I said "oops, sorry, I forgot to tell you, it's not real, don't do it, just start dancing"...
I felt bad, because I'd gone through the same thing, first big event in america, I'm bravely asking strangers to dance, hoping they will be impressed with my dancing, and oh shit... The very first move of every dance doesn't work, the girls keep falling over their own feet and then looking at me like I'm some kind of nasty smelling thing the dog dragged in....
Jeeze I must be doing it wrong!!
So I get a private lesson, and another, and another. I think I had 3 full private lessons with 3 different international pro's trying to fix it. I learned variations, I learned how to breath and lift my frame, to give a bunch of subtle and obvious clues that I was about to start the dance.
And the girls kept falling over sideways. What???
So then I watched the other guys on the dance floor, and guess what, none of them are freak'n doing starter steps, they just connect and lead a left side pass, well holly banana pant's batman, that's so easy I don't even need to learn it, I can just do it... And it works every time!.
What the freak'n hell is this triple sideways business, why should a slotted dance, that involves the follow moving up and down the slot consistently, start with a triple sideways? Which pretty much forces the follow to trip over her own feet, because hey, there's a foot in the way of moving sideways!
What is this, why are we still teaching this nonsense :-)
Lets just teach what we really do, not what we were taught.