Lets Play Fantasy Startup!

As I mentioned before, Paul Graham, like many others, believes the team on a startup is an extremely good predictor of how successful the company will be. He uses the rowing-a-boat metaphor. A big boat (read:company) with 1000 workers is likely to have an average speed at which it rows. But, a smaller boat rows faster because 1) the other rowers will notice and complain if someone isn’t working hard and 2) an energetic rower is encouraged by the fact that he/she has a visible impact on the boat’s speed.

But the real advantage of the ten-man boat shows when you take the ten best rowers out of the big galley and put them in a boat together. They will have all the extra motivation that comes from being in a small group. But more importantly, by selecting that small a group you can get the best rowers. Each one will be in the top 1%. It’s a much better deal for them to average their work together with a small group of their peers than to average it with everyone.

And …

Steve Jobs once said that the success or failure of a startup depends on the first ten employees. I agree. If anything, it’s more like the first five. Being small is not, in itself, what makes startups kick butt, but rather that small groups can be select.

So, the real question is, if you could make an all-star team to build a business, who would you choose, why, and what role would they fill?

[tags]startup, entreprenuer, a-list, teamwork, leadership, business[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

One Comment on "Lets Play Fantasy Startup!"

  1. misha says:

    oooooooooooooooohhh, this is fun. I have no idea who I should really know but I am going to think and pretend. I so agree about the first five and ten people in starting up *anything. *

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