Startups are About People, People, and People

Tonight I was at a local awards ceremony for the top entrepreneurs in Atlanta. After an entrepreneur is nominated, they have to answer a number of questions and get their financials certified by a third-party accounting firm. Several of the questions are generic company stuff and several of the questions are around the entrepreneur’s specific philosophy and approach to business. At the awards ceremony, as part of introducing each winner, the announcer read some choice responses from the questionnaire.

Overwhelmingly, the entrepreneurs espoused the benefits of focusing on people. In real estate, the motto is location, location, location. For startups, the motto should be people, people, people. People are what drive everything about a business. People interface with customers. People build products. People sell goods and services.

The next time you’re talking to an entrepreneur, ask her what the most important thing is about her startup. Listen closely, because the response is everything you need to know about her philosophies for the business.

What else? What are your thoughts on startups being about people, people, and people?

3 thoughts on “Startups are About People, People, and People

  1. I’d say you can take this a step further and say that business is about people. I really disagree with the cliché, “it’s not personal, it’s business” because business is personal. Unless your business is created by robots and they interface only with other robots, business is a series of personal interactions between people. If you treat people correctly your startup / business will thrive.

  2. Working on a startup in Customer Discovery I have spoken with hundreds of business people (as opposed to non-business people) over the past few weeks and months. It is very rare that their response is not people related.

    Of course I am looking for problems that we can solve (people related) but the questions are completely open ended. “What are the top two or three problems you have?” The answers are consistent, “finding good people, communicating with my team, selecting the best candidate, getting people contributing quickly.”

    If you are in Customer Discovery what has been the response to the biggest problems organizations face?

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