Idea validation · Entrepreneurship

Why is it that there is no exclusive club to have a pizza sliced across its members for every idea?

Ashley Titus Founder at RAGS Solutions

September 18th, 2016

Is it not practical for the members from different backgrounds on FD be able to take on a basic idea submitted by one of the members and then use a standard check list to say who wants to be part of the exclusive team. Once the exclusive team is setup for that idea within a defined time those members will contribute at no cost by first getting a better impression of the idea and then either calling it off or taking it further by contributing with respective expertise in legal, technical, management, finance, etc and thus getting validation, feedback, patent, mvp, funding, stage gates identified, including developing the product team, tech partner, other partners, marketing, etc, etc all the way with contributing members getting a fair slice of the pizza per respective idea launched by anyone of the members who if the idea gets thru the the process is guaranteed a default slice. Would this not be a means to an end?
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Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

September 19th, 2016

To cut to the chase, the answer is relatively simple: (1) reward the whole team - I.e., grant each of them stock or options so that the success of the company is the objective and focus; (2) give cash bonuses or other material rewards to those who deserve special mention, but don't do it too often. It is otherwise a bad idea to make to rivals out of what should be colleagues. Sent from my iPhone

Shel Horowitz I help organizations thrive by building social transformation into your products, your services, and your marketing

September 19th, 2016

If you're asking what I think you're asking, it's how to find team members and partners who will take a percentage later rather than cash up front now.

Here's the problem: there are lots of great projects out there that never make it. And the equity return on a failed project is below zero, because you can never gain back that time. 

And, of course, everybody wants this when they've got the startup, but nobody wants to take the deal unless absolutely everything lines up. I get asked several times a year if I'll work for a percentage of eventual profits, or even an equity stake. I say no in 95% of cases, and even when I've said yes, I've ended up working for free too often.

Also, a delayed-gratification partner not only has no guarantee of success, but also has no way of enforcing the startup doing the things that make success more likely.

These are some of the reasons why, in general, the people who say yes will be hungry--just starting out and not able to attract A-list clients (and fees) yet. And a few of those will get lucky and hook on to something tremendous. Most will lose whatever they put in, because they won't have the skills to ensure that their partner executes properly, and may not have done enough market research to determine if the thing will fly in the first place.

Ashley Titus Founder at RAGS Solutions

September 19th, 2016

Point taken Shel. I agree with the logic.

Rob G

September 19th, 2016

Ashley, i think the idea is valid, but it takes some execution structure.  I participated in the early stages of just this sort of 'incubator' (for lack of a better term).  We had a pretty broad spectrum of talent present, though more structure around 'recruiting' across dev, sales, marketing, etc. would be needed for long-term sustainability. Everyone pitched a few ideas and as a group we 'voted' on which ones we were most interested in.  Teams were formed around a few ideas. More time was consumed trying to get agreement on how equity would be split (including Slicing Pie) and contributions measured and tracked and drafting agreements than anything else.  This burned a bunch of time early on. Most of the participants were entrepreneurs with their own projects.  Things fizzled out after a few months.  We didn't do a postmortem, but as is often the case with 'crowd sourced' efforts a lack of organization and infrastructure didn't help. I still think the basic concept is viable however - rather than individuals with ideas all trying to compete for the same co-founder resources, why not put a bunch of co-founder-minded people in a room together to share skills and work on a bunch of ideas and share the successes/failures.  As co-founder conflicts are the source of so many startup failures i would suggest putting some time into the structure and ground rules first.  

Ashley Titus Founder at RAGS Solutions

September 19th, 2016

Yes Rob, thanks for your experience and positive input. This generates thought and will keep my thoughts on this open for sure. The reality of such a high number of start-up failures should be a driver besides other benefits as the fall-out from start-up failures and the ultimate collective waste of time and resources raises a key question on why this cannot be controlled and thus as you put it if organised can allow the learning experiences on both success and failures to contribute rather than just be accepted.