As the African saying goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. This applies perfectly to entrepreneurs. Creating a truly innovative and successful business is rarely the work of one person, due to the diversity of tasks and the different skills required.
Though entrepreneurship is often seen as a largely solo career path, it is actually the environment in which the best and most effective collaborations can happen, and also where such activities are vital for business success. A study we undertook in 2014 with Thomas Littée into the make-up of start-up ventures, involving 166 creators and managers of new innovative businesses showed that only 12% of start-ups are run with just one person making all of the strategic decisions, whereas in 72% of cases these decisions are made by two or three partners.
On the other hand, managing a successful start-up is never effective when a large number of people are making the decisions either. So in launching, and making a success of, a fledgling business how can entrepreneurs go about selecting the right people to collaborate with?
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”
This graph shows the number of founding partners of 166 startups surveyed in 2015. Most startups are created by 2 or 3 partners.