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Some things about The Founders

Some things about The Founders

 

The most important thing to make a company succeed is people. When you start out a company, you start out with nothing but people. One person alone cannot do it. Getting everything set up, getting things organized, getting a core team assembled and the systems in place takes a lot more than just one person. A group of people, a team has to come together. They have to believe in the idea and they have to execute it. These need to be people with mountains of energy, that are willing to go through anything that it takes to make the company successful. A team that will not take “No” for an answer. They have to be almost evangelical in their fervor to make something happen. And they have to be able to attract human and financial resources that allow them to execute in a very precise way against big odds. (Nimish Shah, Sentient Networks)

The first thing you have to make sure when you put together a team of founders is that all founders share the same vision and the same values. The group can be heterogeneous, but the founders cannot have a different vision or a different set of values, because they will probably be partners for many, many years. You absolutely need to make sure that the goals of the founders are all aligned. Each of the founder has to be very sensitive what each of the other founders’ objectives are. You have to recognize these and try to incorporate them, because otherwise you will have people from day one heading in fundamentally different directions. Only if you get a team of really great people together, who share the same vision, and work together well as a team, you will create a very strong foundation for the company. Because everything in the company originates from the founding team and will grow out of that.

Some keys/ important for you

  • The founders need to have the same vision and values. Secondly, the dynamics of the founding team are incredibly important. In fact the number one thing that can kill a startup before anything else can kill it, is the people. You should therefore never take on a partner unless the business really cannot succeed without both of you. You have to be that clear. Both have to be absolutely required. If only one person is going to be absolutely required, this imbalance will certainly create serious problems further down the road. Because when it comes down to work being put in, money being put in, and money being made, things are very delicate. These questions will only be solved and the team will only work if all partners are really required. Therefore before you start a business together, you need to address this question beforehand and you must ask not only whether each founder brings value to the company, but whether every single one of the founders is really required. All partners must absolutely be required to the point that without them the business would fail. That is an unconditional prerequisite for a perfect partnership.
  • All founders need to be absolutely required for the success of the company. Do not compromise, because if not all of them are really required the partnership is flawed from the very beginning.Thirdly the chemistry between the members of the founding team is critical. And friendship helps. People you grew up with, people you know from school, people who cannot hide their true characters from each other, are the best partners. You do not really know whether you will function as a team, until you have worked together. Just knowing each other is not enough. There needs to be a germination period where you are working day in and day out on the same goals. It is like a courtship period, where the founders gain some experience in working together. Nevertheless there is a substantial risk of conflict and you might lose members of the founding team on the way.
  • There needs to be a germination period where the founders work together day in and day out. Fourthly, depending on the business model, a high-tech company should typical  have at least three key people: It should have a market visionary, someone who understands the market, the customer and the problem the customer has. It also has to have a product or technology visionary, who understands the product and technology and how it might be applied, but does not necessarily understand all the problems that the market has. And it needs a business execution person, because the idea itself if worth zero. It is the execution of the idea.
  • You really need a market visionary, a product or technology visionary and a business execution person. Last but not least, the founders should hold equal stakes in the company so that they are in every respect equal partners. No matter who the idea had and who contributed what in the founding process, the founders should split the company equally among them. Otherwise some founders will feel like second-rate founders, which produces a flaw from the very beginning and which might have a strong negative effect on the way.
  • The company should be split equally among the founders.

 

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