Who Vs The How/What/Why: The Secret Sauce To Success In Any Startup

Anita Dharamshi
Anita Dharamshi
Co-Founder , 
Anita Dharamshi is the Cofounder of TwoMangoes.com, a site that connects thousands of young Indian singles.

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, and having been part of numerous startups, I have seen my fair share of successes and many many failures (did I mention many?). Most people would have you believe that a successful startup is built based on a billion dollar idea. Others believe it's all in the execution and how you deliver against your goals, and yet, for some it's all about funding and whether you have the right investment or funds to propel your business forward. To some degree, all of these are key ingredients to creating that delectable sauce. However, there is one ingredient that is paramount to all the others; what I refer to as the 'secret sauce' of any startup and that's the people involved.

Founder Passion: Take a look at any successful startup company. When you first meet a founder, what's the first thing you notice? Chances are it's their passion and level of engagement. It should become obvious in the first few minutes of the conversation that these people live, breath and die by this idea. A truly engaged and passionate founding team sets the stage for the right culture and environment for the business to truly flourish. Take the likes of Facebook or Foursquare. If you've ever heard Mark Zuckerberg or Naveen Selvadurai and Dennis Crowley speak, the conversation will quickly turn to their respective businesses and the next greatest feature that's coming out. In many ways their business has become a part of who they are (good, bad or ugly!) There's also the well knownexample of the late Steve Jobs. Only a tremendous amount of passion and perseverance could do what he did in turning Apple into one of the world's most valuable companies.

Diverse Skills Sets: If you start to dig a little deeper, what's the next thing you'll find? A truly unique mix of skill sets amongst the founding team and early stage employees. An engineer + a strategy and finance buff + a social media guru + a marketing whizz can create an extremely powerful team that facilitates a 360 degree holistic approach of solving business challenges. Contrast this with two strong technical leaders building a startup with no business or marketing expertise. Who would you put your money on? Time and time again we've all seen promising startups fail as a result of not having a specific skill set as part of the core team of employees. If you look at the TwoMangoes team, for example, it consists of various areas of expertise that are critical to the business including product development, business strategy, financial operations, marketing strategy, social media, project management and online advertising.
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Reader's comments(1)
1: very true. team, passion are tow key pillars, most importantly a common vision among the core team - atleast a common vision of making great monies....
Posted by:ram - 31 Aug, 2012

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