Earlier today I got into a conversation with a colleague about the relative importance of a startup idea vs a startup team. Naturally, both the concept and the people are critically important, but if you had to pick one, which would be most important?
My general feeling is that the idea is more important than the team. Some arguments for and against it are as follows:
- Strong ideas, especially pain killers over vitamins, are harder to come by since most ideas are vitamins (or candy!)
- If it’s a good idea, or at least a good sandbox to play in, the chance of zigging and zagging to achieve success is much greater
- Strong teams are hard to find but are more easily upgraded as the startup makes progress as opposed to pivoting and trying a new idea
- Talented teams are more likely to figure out how to make something work, even if it is only a modest success
- Investors bet on the jockey more than the horse, but it my anecdotal experience, investors bet on the idea more than the team for first-time entrepreneurs and then the team more than the idea for successful serial entrepreneurs
Startups ideas and startup teams are extremely important to the success of a new venture. In the end, I’d take a great idea with a good team over a good idea with a great team.
What else? What are your thoughts on the importance of idea vs team?