What To Look For

You’re thinking about joining a startup, or you’ve already taken the plunge and joined one. How do you know if that startup is going to be successful? You don’t, of course, but there are some things you can look for that might give you an indication. Today’s post is about one.

Steve Blank writes frequently about startups. If you’ve been investigating startups, you’ve probably come across him before now. He writes in the Huffington Post about how important the founding team is to a startup’s success:

Over the last 40 years Technology investors have learned that the success of startups are not just about the technology but “it’s about the team.”

Does your startup have a good core team? Better find out. After all, startups are not about just building a product:

In a perfect world you build your vision and your customers would run to buy your first product exactly as you spec’d and built it. We now know that this ‘build it and they will come” is a prayer rather than a business strategy. In reality, a startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. This means the brilliant idea you started with will change as you iterate and pivot your business model until you find product/market fit.

Put that another way: If you’re investigating a startup, ask about their pivots. Find out what they thought they were going to be doing when they started out, and how they made the change to what they’re doing now.

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