Person + Idea + Product + Time + Market = Magic

Fred Wilson, an extremely well-known venture capitalist, had some great insight about what’s required about making “magic” when it comes to making it in startup world:

Right Person + Right Idea + Right Product + Right Time + Right Market = Magic

Lots of variables, right? And although he’s right (and his track record gives him a lot of credit) there are two assumed challenges that are worth mentioning, at least from what I’ve experienced.

[tentblogger-vimeo 43116911]

The first is that of all of those variables that exist in the equation there are only three (maybe) that are within relative control. The first three, person (or persons), your idea (0r shared idea among partners), and product (and/or service).

The other two, time and market, are almost completely uncontrollable except if you’re changing the market (rare or impossible, depending on your perspective).

This means that although the equation may be true the variables aren’t set in stone and neither is the “magic” of success.

You, I, and Fred are well aware of this – heck, I definitely know this to be true as I’ve launched many projects which I thought would be the ticket that completely failed: Time + Market failed me! Or, perhaps I failed them. Eh, who knows.

The second that I wanted to call out is that the equation assumes you have the right team in the mix, which is the most important variable in the equation.

I know from experience as well as having engaged with many different startups and their founders that the team matters the most and the rest can fall into place.

The difference between the two is that the first is still under tight control of the fates while the second can be managed well and I believe that it starts with knowing yourself first. You don’t have to use something like Action & Influence exclusively but you do need to use something because it matters.

Know who you are and who your team members are and how they will influence your decisions because that will determine your idea and your product. Knowing that is the most important part of a startup.