I Have a Dream...

Lucy Marcus, managing director of Marcus Venture Consulting, which provides advice and expertise to early-stage companies and investors, confirms that what venture capitalists are really investing in is s company’s management team — and especially the founder — as much as their idea.
In other words, they won’t back even a great idea if they feel the management team isn’t up to scratch. “Companies aren’t failing because they don’t have a good idea, but because they can’t meet the bills they need to pay, so you need to build strong foundations in all aspect of the business,” Marcus points out.

But, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have the full set of management skills in yourself. Good entrepreneurs know their limitations and are willing to hire in expertise to plug the gaps. You may even decide you need to hire someone to come in above you as CEO. As Marcus points out, it takes different skills to manage an ongoing business than it does to get one off the ground. “The founder will need to move from being an energetic entrepreneur to being a solid CEO, balancing being a visionary against basic management,” she explains. “People who get into trouble or fail often say they should have kept a closer eye on the day-to-day running of the company.”


15 October 2000

In the Press Archive