You can have the greatest business idea in the world, but if your team is not great, the project will surely fail – unless management is successfully replaced. Thus, throughout this chapter we will comprehensively review thoughts concerning your core team, including how you put together a great founder team, how you govern your mutual relationship (for example, the share allocation) and how you work with board members, mentors, coaches and advisory boards.
People who have not tried to build companies might think that first and foremost it is about getting the good idea and that the work effort comes in secondary position. To some degree, they have a point, because as previously mentioned, a study has shown that 80% of the success driver comes from addressing the right market, which is certainly part of the idea, whereas only 12% accrues from having the right team (and 8% from other factors).1
But wait a minute. The inventor genius and serial entrepreneur Thomas Edison once noted (in fact, several times) that in his view ‘genius’ was the result of 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration, i.e. 2% is the good idea and 98% is perspiration – competent work.
Here is how we see it:
- A great team with a so-so idea will know how to pivot until the idea has become great.
- Great investors will be able to change the team if they like the idea.
- In either case, Edison was right: entrepreneurship is mainly perspiration.
The reality is that most of us get plenty of ideas throughout ...