Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”.
In startup investing, “Team isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”.
All problems will ultimately be solved by the team. If they can’t solve it, then the business will fail.
In many years of angel investing, almost all failures trace back to the team not being up to the task.
In reviewing a deal, the investor often makes the mistake of matching the team to the current problem but not future problems.
In the earliest stages, one looks for a team that can build and sell the product, but will they be able to grow the business and later scale it? These are the future problems that must be solved.
Hopefully, the CEO will change the team to match the needs of the business.
Character Confidence Coachability
In evaluating a team, there are elements to look for in a CEO for early-stage companies.
The first is character. The CEO must have integrity and demonstrate character.
Over time, the company will adopt the character of the CEO. If the CEO cuts corners, so will the rest of the company.
The second is confidence. The CEO must have enough confidence in their vision, plan, and team that they can execute.
Starting up brings challenges that require confidence to succeed.
The third is coachability. This is especially true for first-time CEOs in that they don’t know what it is they don’t know. Experienced CEOs understand this better and recognize their limitations.
CEOs who shun advice or forego coaching will run into problems later.
Read more from TEN Capital: https://tencapital.group/education/