My Team Eats Your Lone Wolf For Dinner

This is for those out there who are just starting out and are trying to do it alone. I think you’re…basically…nuts. Lone Wolfing is acceptable for professional services like mine. But not for a business as complex as a physical product aimed at consumers. CPG businesses are like pipe organs with twice as many pulls. There’s no way a human could operate it alone. Just not going to happen unless you’re playing a children’s melody. Did I take the metaphor too far?

Oh well. 

What I mean by a “team” is two equally empowered business partners. If you, instead, see a team as the minions working for you, you will never have the level of fast-twitch honesty at the top required to excel in a startup. Employees will NEVER be fully transparent about problems, issues, including those stemming from your behavior. An equally empowered co-founder may not challenge you either, but they don’t have a sociological barrier to doing so. 

Top Three Reasons to have a Co-founder Team

  1. Accountability to Goals– only a co-founder, a peer, creates proper accountability before you have investors (not that you need to have investors)
  2. Getting Sh*t Done…Fast– You have one brain, two hands, and say 18 hours of wake time a day. CPG businesses involve too much work for this toolkit to suffice. Things will slow way down. That’s when chaos will ensue. 
  3. Preventing Operational Overwhelm and its Consequences– An adjunct of #2 is that Lone wolves will get overwhelmed quickly and start cutting corners to survive cognitively and to pursue an illusory sense that they are managing it well. Not. 

For an earlier, in-depth discussion of this topic, check out Episode 3 of my podcast. 

Dr. James Richardson

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