Behind the scenes #1 | team comes first!
Welcome to the first edition of Behind The Scenes, the biweekly newsletter we are launching in order to have a serious conversation about VC markets. We will use it to explain how we make decisions, what matters most as we look for new investment opportunities and how we think investors should work with founders. All the ideas we will share here have been developed over a 30 year period of working as a team. We will do our best to make sure the content you receive in your Mailbox does not replicate the topics frequently covered at events or else is easy to find by searching the internet. Hold tight, we’re off!TDJ Pitango Ventures team
TEAM COMES FIRST!The best sorts of teams are those which set off into battle and return – be it triumphant or defeated – still strong and united… As you run a business, you will come across various situations, but shared experiences in your past, especially those which proved to be challenging, will help your team bond and give you an advantage over those new to the startup game.At TDJ Pitango, when investing in a given project, we are in it for the long-run – this is why it matters for us to meet with teams which are ready to face the good and the bad times, and not loose collections of people who come together by chance. You will have to convince us that a difference of opinions – let us say on the subject of transforming your sales model – will not turn into a messy power struggle which will have you all going separate ways. Research conducted by CB Insights* shows that 23% of startups fell apart due to differences in the teams leading them. We are not just talking about bringing together people who have the necessary competencies, though this is always going to be important. You have to trust each other as partners who have faith in those competencies and the ability of all the founders to make correct decisions. This sort of trust is best gained through an accumulation of shared experiences.Our experiences show that the success of a given project is to a large extent decided by how strong, competent and tested your team is in working together. Even if the project, or else the go-to-market strategy, are not fully formed and maybe in need of modification due to changes in the markets, we will believe that a strong team is able to successfully pivot – whereas a weak team can ruin even the most promising business idea.* CB Insights
Tips from Wojtek and Daniel
Chain is as strong as its weakest link, goes the proverb. And if the chain has been tested many times over, you can trust its links are strong. The same applies to the founding teams – it does not matter how smart or talented individual founders are if the team can break apart anytime. Wojciech Fedorowicz
We are often asked “what is the right team composition”? At the early stages of a startup company, the focus is on the most advanced technology and thus the team needs to consist of excellent developers. Soon enough, the commercial side needs to come to play. Beyond obvious tasks of business development, companies’ management need to adopt a balanced attitude between technology aspects and customer requirements, so the product-market fit gets build in the best possible way.Daniel Star
More issues you can find here