Archive for the ‘roles’ Category

“Founders’ Dilemmas” Course: “Building the (Founding) Team” Case Studies

In prior posts about my “Founders’ Dilemmas” MBA course, I provided an overview of the course and details about its first three case studies (which include the Introductory case and the cases in the “When to Found” module).

This post covers the four founding-team cases in the “Building the Team” module. (Another case in the module covers non-founder hiring issues, and will be described in my next post.) Collectively, these cases cover wide variations in prior relationships, in role allocations, and in approaches to equity splits. For each case, this post provides the official case description, a …

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A Second Look at “Idea People” as CEOs: Should vs. Do

In response to last week’s post showing raw data about the propensity of “idea people” to take the CEO position within their founding teams, Tadej commented:

I don’t think having the idea should generally affect your position in the company (that should be determined by your abilities and motivations) – some people say that having an idea is worth 20 bucks, the rest is implementation.

Tadej makes an excellent point about what teams “should” do. In practice, what do teams actually do?

To give us some deeper data regarding this, I ran a quick regression analysis to assess the …

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Idea People and Their Initial Roles Within Founding Teams

Does being your venture’s “idea person” affect your initial role within the venture and the size of your equity stake?

Initial analyses of data from our 2007 Compensation Survey (the 2008 Survey is currently under way — see here to participate!) suggest that being the idea person can affect your role and the size of your equity stake. In this post, I delve into the impact on roles, and in the next post, I’ll delve into the equity-stake implications (IY”H).

Note: The analyses I present below are only descriptive and preliminary, and will be followed by more detailed/definitive

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Neverland, or Dictatorship?

As a start-up grows, can the founding team continue to make decisions collectively, or does someone have to rise above the others and become the final decision maker?

A couple of years ago at a panel discussion at HBS’s annual Entrepreneurship Conference, the 4 founders on the panel disagreed about almost every topic raised by the moderator. The one thing on which all 4 agreed was that “a start-up has to be a dictatorship.” Each of the founders had started a company with at least one co-founder, and had tried to make all decisions by “consensus.” However, in …

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