Here’s another question I have been pondering over the last few weeks.
I am personally not very fond of the word “rock star”, but have heard it from several investors in particular. They all claim to have invested in rock star teams.
So it begs the question – What is a Rockstar startup team?
It would be impossible to list all skills, qualities, attributes and traits of the individuals in that team because the list would be endless.
Let me first write down a set of things I’d like to think that its not, but I am open to be challenged on these.
1. Bunch of guys who have all graduated from the same “top schools and colleges”.
2. A team of people who had CXO title’s at large companies and have never worked together.
3. A set of high IQ mensa-type individual contributors who dont work well in teams.
If I were to put a set of things I believe they should have before with the attempt to put a 1 line definition before it would be:
1. They have spent time together and understand each other well.
2. They have previously solved a similar type of problem before.
3. They have great communication among themselves.
4. They have a very good understanding of the market they are looking to operate in.
5. They execute crisply and meet their deadlines consistently.
If I were to simplify the definition of a rock star team, I’d say a team that’s worked together and solved the same type of problem a startup would face at their current stage before in their career.
Or people that have been there and done that – together.
But this definition does not cover a team of co founders who were fresh out of college.They may have certainly worked together, but not have solved the same type of problem before.
I am open to a more crisp definition.
Here are some others that I reached out to who have defined it in their own words.
Shekhar Kirani from Accel
“Deep insights, exceptional performance in their previous jobs, pedigree as an indicator of competitive spirit, and commitment not to give up.”
Ashish Gupta from Helion,
Customer focused, Iterative, Nimble
Sameer V from Nexus,
Scrappy, Hyper-efficient (multi-taskers) with a solid focus on customer needs
Abhijeet M from BVP,
Somebody who knows the market quality, competition, his product, and its value proposition inside out and backwards.
Kiran B Nag from Saama Capital,
Experienced, Synergestic, Adaptive
Raj Chinai from Kalaari,
Exceptional track record, passionate, creative and execution oriented
Gautam B from Ojas,
Energetic, Honest, Complimentary skills, Go-getters, Though not necessary, would help to have relevant backgrounds, Good understanding between themselves
Ashwin R of India Innovation Fund.
Driven, Make things happen, Visionary, And of course the cliched term X factor comes to mind
Mukul Arora from Saif partners,
Super passionate about the idea, ideally with relevant and complementary skills/expertise, and capable of hiring high quality talent.
Rahul Khanna from Canaaan,
Bejul Somiah from Lightspeed,
Passionate, Force of will, Outliers, Unusual
Shailendra S from Sequoia
Bharati J from SeedFund
Rock star team – that finds unique idea and executes brilliantly
have also been asked to contribute to this definition.
I will update this post as they provide me their answers.