When Good People Work on Bad Startups

Burj Khalifa aka Burj Dubai
Image by Joi via Flickr

Most startups aren’t bad and I’m not usually the best judge but I’ve seen some really good people work on bad startups. By bad startup I mean ones that languish for an extended period of time on an idea that isn’t working.

Here are a few reasons why good people work on bad startups:

  • The desire to do a startup trumps the ability to see that things aren’t going well
  • The more time and energy put into the startup the harder it is to recognize it isn’t going to succeed
  • The camaraderie and bond with the team becomes so strong that you don’t want to let them down by moving on
  • The badge of failure is more like a scarlet letter in some communities

Good people working on bad startups is never going to go away. The next time you see it happen ask them some hard questions related to the reasons above and see what’s driving them to continue doing what they are doing.

What else? Have you seen good people work on bad startups?

2 thoughts on “When Good People Work on Bad Startups

  1. If ‘good’ people means ‘good’ in technology, not business then it happens like you said.

    From the other hand, a good team making average startup will be more successful than an average team making good startup. By ‘good’ startup I mean a startup with a good business model.

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