What comes first – idea or team

By Balram Nair, Vice President, Chennai Angels-

What is a start-up – A start-up is an idea in search of a business model.

I would say, to start with an Idea is the most important. It is difficult to seclude the other pillars that make a startup successful as they are as important. All said having a team without the idea is like having a factory with employees and not knowing what to manufacture.

The idea is the spark that ignites a solution to a problem and if this problem troubles a very very very large audience, then you have a market.

The originator also needs to understand if he has a command over the subject and has the confidence to create a solution, for instance, i know that global warming is a huge concern but if i do not have knowledge on the subject i will never be able to take a step forward. The team comes in next. Any startup will have a couple of critical components, now-a-days tech is, by default, a compulsory component in any business to scale. Your core team / founding team should have expertise on such core components.

However, having an idea and the team at place, are not sufficient for starting an enterprise. Before one starts working on prototype development, one must get the idea validate. So, natural question arise – “where does the idea validation fits in, before forming a team or after ?”. Having his personal experience in entrepreneurship, once the secretary of ISVEC had indeed raised this question. This question gains significance, as different start-up ideas requires different types of expertise in the team.

That question is a tricky one, specially because, unlike established corporates, a start-up rarely has enough resources to keep on adding new personnel in his/ her team with every change/ modification of the original idea. My answer to that question will be – Idea validation must follow formation of team. This a fine line, the idea could sprout within a team too. Sometimes you might have to bring in a co-founder to validate as you would not want to discuss your ideas in the open.

Wish you all the success !