Neil Lewis - Innovative Entrepreneur

Solving problems by growing profitable businesses @neil_lewis

Business growth depends on teams (and freelance teams?)

The startup world was awash with write ups of the fascinating Startup Genome  report last week – and, most significantly, it identified the startup team as the key determinant of success.

The truely valuable aspect of this report is that it gives metrics – that is, it quantifies the value of a particular element that a startup team may or may not have.

So, for instance, the report found that investors invest 2-3 times more money than is necessary.

But, most significant of all, founders who LEARN raise 7x more money and achieve 3.5x better user growth.

This is the stand out finding of the research.

The other significant, “must do” is to build a business/ sales heavy startup team (these are 6.2x more likely to successfully scale).

Okay, so explain why learning and business/ sales matter…

Now, when I say ‘founders must learn’ the report actually says “founders must have helpful mentors, track metrics effectively and learn from startup thought leaders
Equally, when the report says “Business / Sales heavy teams” it really means building a team of tech founders and a commercial / sales team. So, you have a team of inventors and a team of commercially smart people.

In addition, the report finds that a startup team (with 2 or more founders) will reach scale 3.6x faster than with a sole founder.

Are these two related?

Well, yes they are, probably because a startup team means that the founders have thought about building invention and the marketing/ sales skills into the team, as well as being an indicator that they are likely to be more open to outside advice.

And that makes sense, because the critical factor in any startup is ensuring that the range of skill, talent and advice is available to the business – as and when it is needed.

Sometimes this is achieved through 2 or 3 founders – but often, it is acheived through a founder building the right mentor relationships. Or, equally, the founder being able to build teams to help deliver the new product and services and then sell and market those products.

Regular Freelance Fair readers will know that I place a far higher value on a freelance team than the same individuals, but contracted seperately. Why is this?

Well, it is actually very hard to put into words, but strangely, something happens when you have team work – that can’t happen when everyone works independently and away from each other.

In team work, the ideas and decisions are better informed, because a range of different views and skills can be brought to bear on the issue.

Equally, if the team works well, then the decision to persue one route to market or another route to market is well understood by everyone and doesn’t require seperate (and both expensive and slow) explanation.

Working as a team puts everyones actions and ideas open to scrutiny and it ensures teams don’t come up with great ideas that can’t be implemented or sold.


Need a business minded sales and marketing team? ttp://

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Written by Editor on June 6, 2011 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Featured, Innovative Entrepreneur, Opinion , , ,

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