A great startup management team will find a way to make a company successful, even if it requires a pivot.
In this interview with Jeremy Glaser, who is a partner at the law firm Mintz Levin and also serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Practice, we discuss the importance of building a strong startup management team, including the extended team of mentors, advisors, and employees, to accomplish key goals for your startup. Management matters in the success or failure of a startup. It isn’t just about the idea.
Patrick: If you want to build a great company, you have to share. You have to share the wealth. Building great companies is a team sport. It’s not a solo sport. It’s not only other people on your management team and within your company, great employees, people with incredible skill sets in the core competencies that are important to you, but also having board members that can be additive. Otherwise, it’s like management doesn’t matter.
I was talking to a friend of mine who is a prominent CEO in the tech industry. He told me, “I didn’t end up taking the job with that company, and I’m glad that I didn’t. It ended up having all sorts of problems and went under.” Maybe if you would have gone in, there were problems that you could have solved.
This individual didn’t think about it that way, at least before we started talking. Having the right people around the table, you can course correct and fix things. Of course, you can’t throw people or money at a bad business idea. But typically, you can pivot or transition if there’s something that’s reasonable there.
Jeremy: It’s like what a lot of VCs will tell you. There is the old real estate adage about location, location, location. If you talk to a VC with experience, they will tell you, “We have the same thing. But it’s management, management, management.” People get so focused on the new, cool technology. There is the new cool idea.
We think that’s what’s going to make the company great. The reality is, the shit hits the fan in every company. The difference between the companies that fail or make it is the management team. If you have the right management team, including the board of directors and insiders, they can manage through that process, pivot and find the opportunity and pursue it. There are a lot of examples of companies that didn’t start out with their core business. They made that pivot, and that’s when the success came. That was all about management.
This is Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion with The Real Deal…What Matters.