Steve Blank on startups on the Berkeley Blog

Steve Blank writes about the outcomes of research conducted across multiple campuses on experimental startups. He starts off with a quote from the SEALS:

Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.
— SEAL Team saying

He goes on to write about a diversity of skills building up teams:

What skills? Well it depends on the industry you’re in, but generally great technology skills (hacking/hardware/science) great hustling skills (to search for the business model, customers and market,) great user facing design (if you’re a web/mobile app,) and by having long term vision and product sense. Most people are good at one or maybe two of these, but it’s extremely rare to find someone who can wear all the hats.

This is commonsense, but it’s nice to see it formally laid out.

Diversity on teams is a concept I’m really interested in, as I’ve gotten very disillusioned in the past year over university management strategies that, as far as I can tell, fall in love with one or two stars (usually analogous to the “hustler”–self-promoters), endlessly promotes and praises them, treats them like they are royalty, and then treats the rest of their talent/team (the people who spend a lot of time delivering services, like teaching, well) like they contribute nothing to the organization, and then wonders why the unappreciated parts of the team scale back on work effort/commitment (and then punishes them with lower salaries and yet more unappreciated work.) There’s no acknowledgement that you need multiple skill sets; it strikes me as very counterproductive for team life and productivity–particularly in a world where you lose managerial control over people when they receive tenure. However, it’s like this at every university I’ve ever been in. We are either optimizing in ways that I am not comprehending, indulging in counterproductive status hierarchies, or…?