It’s common wisdom that startups are defined by their limited resources. The actual definition of a startup could be “a new business that grows quickly despite limited resources."
While this startup rule-of-thumb is known by most everyone, very few people have been in the trenches enough to truly understand what this means on a day-to-day basis in a startup. The reality is an hour-to-hour tradeoff between “what should be done if we had unlimited resources” with “what corners can be cut the quickest to keep momentum going without hurting the business too much."
(side note: I believe that this psychological friction is one of the main reasons why many founders quit. This is especially true for extremely intelligent founders who've always had the right answer and unlimited resources previously in their lives.)
There’s no better example of this natural strain than how the founder manages the business. I know many founders who (unfortunately) view themselves as only visionaries. They’ll make sure the 5-year plan is well thought-out while others work out of the details. Then another (smaller) group of founders mostly focuses on the small details of the business. My experience has been that this tends to be the more experienced/older founders who come from more established backgrounds (like big companies) or ones who come from a strong financial or operations backgrounds.
There are many ways to be successful with startups, but my experience has taught me that a founder has to have a healthy/balanced/agile/calculated blend of vision and micromanagement of details to be successful.
In this podcast/video, a very experienced VC describes the characteristics of a few well-known founders.
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 42:50 of this podcast/video.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners (@Humwin)
This Week In Startups (@TWistartups )
Jason Calacanis (@jason)
Jacqui Deegan (@jacqKD)
Jacob Beemer (@jacobbeemer)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
Real Founder Lessons
The best startup advice from experienced founders...one real-world lesson at a time.