It takes a village to raise a startup or build a team.
Most startups are built by a strong willed and determined (at least for a short while) entrepreneurs. Most startups fail. So what does this mean? Strong willed and determined founders are…failures? Maybe that is exactly what it means or maybe not.
Founders can be excellent in their own right. They may have the attitude of a Mark Zuckerberg or the aggressiveness of Steve Jobs, but this doesn’t actual equate to the success or failure of a startup. I believe the most important component that will decide the fate of a startup, will be the team that stands or sits beside, behind, or in front of the founder.
Now working on and running my second (or third, depending on who’s counting) startup, I’ve come to the conclusion that any startup that achieves a level of “success” is backed by an awesome team. In the past when I have ventured out to create something that would change the world, I’d start alone. The hope was that over time, I would be able to entice and motivate others to join in on the world changing opportunity that seem to occupy my every minute. This is not always true.
From Craigslist postings and “founder dating” sights, I found it extremely difficult to surround myself with a team. Many entrepreneurial minded individuals were creating wonderful products of their own. Those that had the Ivy League education were looking for a compensation worthy of their degree. Knowing that your chances of creating a great company diminishes significantly as
I quickly discovered that in order to build a team, I had to first build a vision. It was so much easier to create a vision for the company that kept me motivated and full of enthusiasm. This attitude would then permeate into the people I was around. Before long, some of those people wanted nothing more than to join in on the mission to change the world.
Photo courtesy of NBC Olympics