Entrepreneurs & Rock Bands

As a wide eyed boy of 13 I watched a rock band perform a rousing gig in an
open air market square in Amsterdam and then break up after a noisy
argument. ‘Gee, this is how the Beatles must have broken up,’ I thought
even more impressed with the experience I was having, and betraying a fair
amount of ignorance of both rock history and perhaps even the present spat I was

Well there was one big difference. The Beatles broke up AFTER they had
made it big and performed all over the world. And yet, many rock bands
and, indeed, startups fail because they are unable to handle the egos in
the team, because they fail to manage the heady cocktail of passion,
talent, and ambition that is the staple of every new venture.

Remember one thing guys, a startup goes through a lot of changes. Some are
driven internally, many are influenced by the outside world. People in the
team will pull in different directions at different times. What is
critical is to have someone who can play the moderator in every
discussion. Someone who can have the patience to listen to every point of
view. This person need not be the same one in every situation. Just so
long as one person or the other in the team is able to play the role, the
startup is doing fine. Most of the time, its more important to stay
together than to be ‘right’ and break apart over ‘principles’. So don’t be
like the rock band that lost its chance at glory just because it could
not handle the egos.

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