What does a startup need to do to succeed? The most important thing is to have the right people involved and leading the startup team. But having good people is not enough. You need to have the right mix of people.
There are three critical roles:
Every team needs the idea person. Unlike the “entrepreneur” who’s just waiting for his great idea to appear, this person is plagued with too many ideas all the time. The tough thing for them is sifting through these ideas to figure out which ones have business potential. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you just need one great idea to start a business. The business continuously needs new ideas, changes, and improvements in order to grow.
No we are not talking about stocks and bonds. This is a person who understands the market, understands customers, and closes sales. They drive sales of your MVP into paying customers hands. They figure out what the market wants and what it doesn’t want and feeds that information back into the company. They are the reality check. Do we have something of value here?
We have an idea, and we have shown that the market will buy it. But for a product to catch on, it needs to work. It needs to look good, do what it claims to do, and deliver value. It needs to be delivered in a reasonable time, and not bankrupt the company with the cost to build, deliver, and maintain it. And you need to be able to track customers, accept payments, deliver solutions, and provide support. The builder enables all of this, making sure the company has enough structure to succeed but not so much that it gets strangled.
Of course it is possible that two of these roles will be played by the same person. The market maker might be a visionary or a builder. It is rare that the visionary is a builder, although they may think they are.
Does your team have all of these roles? If not, how are you going to plug that gap?
Visionary Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Market Maker/Builder Images courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.