What Makes A Great Startup

Posted on by Brian Hertzog

I see hundreds of startups.  I'm no guru, but after running an incubator for six months, I do see patterns.  Every company has unique DNA, but there's something magical about a great startup.  Like interviewing job candidates, when you speak to the right one, you instinctively know.  You get a feeling deep in your gut and your decision is made long before the interview is over.

The ingredients for a great company:

1. People
People are the blood of your company, carrying oxygen to all your vital organs.  If you have bad blood, you have a sick company.  Great companies keep their team healthy, positive, and happy.  Without this, you're dead before you begin.

2. Purpose
After you've curated a team of brilliant, honest, driven, creative, and humble individuals--give them purpose.  Whatever you're working on, make sure every person in your company knows the big picture, the end goal, "the why".  If people are the blood, purpose is energy.  You need both.

3. Devotion
People with purpose need commitment.  Companies that stand behind their products with unwavering conviction are instantly noticeable.  Devote to shipping beautiful art.  It's not something that happens overnight and it certainly doesn't happen by accident.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Health is a combination of mind, body, and spirit.  Without health, nothing else matters.  The same goes for companies.  People give your ideas life, purpose provides the energy, and devotion fuels the soul.  Fail, improve, and above all, keep shipping.