A friend of mine recently asked me what I thought the key to a successful startup was. Even though I’m involved in the entrepreneurship community and have heard many others speak on this topic, I wanted to make sure I gave him a thoughtful answer. I kept thinking of everything I’ve learned over my number of years engaged in entrepreneurship from both an operator and facilitator standpoint: Business Model Canvas, Learn Canvas, the importance of customer development, user experience design, etc. The one thing that kept sticking in my mind, however, is the need for great people. What I mean by this is leaders who have complementary skills with the ability to productively work in concert to accomplish a goal. There are several important parts of this definition:
Leaders – individuals who can inspire and enable the success of others. This includes the recruiting, training, and retaining of employees and cofounders.
Complimentary Skills – See previous post.
Productively Work in Concert – This doesn’t mean that founders have to cover favorite bands at the local coffee shop every night, but teams should have compatible working styles.
To Accomplish a Goal – Your end goal will change along the journey but whatever it changes to, the team must still work together to reach it.
Want your startup to have the best chance of success? Have the best team possible. You need only read the latest startup news in your favorite tech publications to see the impact this can have. By the way, this doesn’t just apply to the startup world: in any size corporation, the most fundamentally important asset is great people. Tweet at me with #startuphire, and tell me whether you agree or disagree!