We are going to nominate talent as the word of the year in 2014 at Four Athens. Much of the year, and our time, was spent connecting entrepreneurs with skilled individuals, identifying gaps in the talent pool, and helping to train the next generation of developers, entrepreneurs, and skilled service providers. By the numbers, we added 53 new members, our member companies hired over 70 people (through end of Q32014), and we worked with 5 companies that received funding this year.
I spend a lot of time convincing (or trying to convince) entrepreneurs & founders that they are more important to their business than their idea or product. Starting out, it seems most people want to believe all they need to do is have a great idea or build a pretty product and they'll be successful. Ultimately, what matters most are the people behind the opportunity. I believe that if you put the right people, in a big enough market, with enough runway, they'll figure out how to make a successful company. Unfortunately, those are a lot of big ifs.
I had the opportunity to talk to Adam Hebbard about how his experience as an attorney and owning his own law firm make him a good mentor. Enjoy today's Mentors' Monday!
Goals drive performance - if you don't know where you are going, it is pretty difficult to get there. While that may seem obvious, I deal with people every day that either (a) do not have explicit goals for their startups, (b) have very vague, general goals that make failure impossible or (c) appear to be focusing on the wrong things (such as "vanity" metrics). The thing about goals is that they can be whatever you want them to be as long as you clearly define your reasoning. As long as they are explicit, goals aren't "wrong". It is possible that they are too easy, but that is a subjective judgement.