The success of any startup, in my opinion, hinges on the quality of the team. This is a statement I can make very comfortably. The trick is gauging the quality. That's usually tough, especially since, as a VC, we get to have relatively little time to spend with the team. So I find myself looking for clues in spotting a great team.
My friend Auren has a great post on the common traits of A players. To summarize, A players tend to:
- Be Relentlessly Resourceful
- Work Around Rules Encourage Mediocrity – So you have to avoid those who try to box them in through these types of rules
- Good at Getting Back to People
- Show up Early vs Late
- Be Founders of Something
- Work harder and smarter
Of course, this is not meant to be exhaustive or exclusive. But, I view my job to be centered around spotting the right talent, more than anything else. And I know Auren is very good at attracting great players around him. So I think this list is very helpful.