Startup Expert Blog: Robert Jan van Vugt
Startup incubator YES!Delft has an amazing and vast ecosystem, with top experts from all fields. Everything from finance, to HR. Their knowledge can be accessed through workshops, mentorship and office hours for YES!Delft startups. To help you find your way to the expertise you need from our ecosystem, we shine the spotlight on our experts!
Robert Jan van Vugt is the YES!Delft Operational Director and is one of the initiators of the brand new workshop Co-Lab. Collaboration and the importance of team are central themes of the workshop. Robert Jan van Vugt is a startup expert has years of experience identifying the central needs of startups and businesses, and developing programs tailored to those needs. Here Robert Jan shares five points on how important a good team is for your startup and all the benefits it can bring you!
1. Size matters
“There is a tendency to attribute startup success to “lone geniuses” – research shows otherwise. There are plenty of examples out there – take Apple: Steve Jobs didn’t work alone, he had Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne to get the startup off the ground and make it into the company that is today. The team size is tied directly to the probability of a firm’s success, and this is supported by almost four decades of research. Data has shown that a team that has two or more founders has an 83% higher chance of succeeding. On the other spectrum, having only one founder takes a startup on average 3.6 times longer to scale.”
2. Diversity is crucial
“Team size ties directly into this – experience and diversity play a significant role in a startup’s success. It has been shown that having a team with people who have a diverse set of skills and different backgrounds, have 2.9 times larger user growth. This means a balanced mix of tech and business experience, but also hard skills and soft skills. Team diversity is crucial as it brings in a bigger network and helps to identify opportunities.”
“Steve Jobs didn’t work alone, he had Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne to get the startup off the ground and make it into the company that is today.”
Robert Jan van Vugt, startup expert
3. Caring is sharing
“Starting a business is hard. Not just from a professional point of view, but the personal toll is high too. Polls show that entrepreneurs experience significantly more stress and worry than other workers. However, it is important to remember that a shared burden is a lighter one and a celebration is much more fun together. A team is not only there to help you achieve your dreams, but just as important, they are the ones you celebrate your successes with, but also share your failures.
4. The team is the issue
“When founders self identify why their startup failed, 23% attributed team issues as a cause, which puts it in the top three. Included in this category were lack of team diversity – from the business and personal side. The lack of professional expertise but also personal support were named a central to the failings of the business. However, more damning, research among VC’s showed that they attributed 65% of company failures to team issues.’
5. VC’s perspective
“For investors not having a team is essentially a vote of no confidence, regardless of how amazing your product is. Balanced teams with one technical founder and one business founder raise 30% more money.”