A shifting consensus around what the “seller” founder looks like
It is often said that there is an engineering bias in Silicon Valley, but in reality, it’s a bias towards doers over talkers, of execution over ideas.
This is why you’ll frequently hear the refrain that MBAs make bad startup founders, because MBAs are oriented towards administration and management (talking) over designing, programming and growth hacking (doing).
That doesn’t, however, mean that engineers always make the best startup founders either. While it’s next to impossible to imagine a great founding team that doesn’t have at least one engineer, increasingly, it’s becoming just as hard to imagine a great founding team that is comprised solely of engineers.
You can visualize the requisite skill set for a founding team as a pendulum that swings over time depending on the macro-circumstances. Twenty years ago, the technical costs of building a product were so enormous, that it made sense to stack your team with engineers and figure out your business later after you’d raised your $20 million A round; to load up on business guys prematurely would have been putting the cart before the horse. When Silicon Valley got overheated in the late 90s, VCs were writing checks for business plans with no product, so all the business guys wanted to start companies too—and we all know how that worked out.
Over the last decade however, the cost of building a product has asymptotically drifted towards zero. Your main cost is time and the certainty that comes with a steady paycheck. With the ascendancy of the full-stack developer, you can switch between web, mobile and native without necessarily having to switch people. With technical costs going down, one of the biggest challenges a modern-day founding team will face isn’t getting the product built—although that is and always will be hard—it’s getting distribution once you’ve built a minimum viable product, nailing the killer user experience and putting your product into the hands of real people quickly.
Read more – > https://medium.com/on-startups/1308a8f17137
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