What makes up a great co-founder team?

We believe that the #1 reason behind successful companies is the setup of the co-founder teams. The right mix of the right people is what transforms a great idea into a great company.

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Antler

The investor backing the world's most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. Enabling thousands of founders every year to launch and scale companies that move the world forward.

A lot has been written about this. A popular concept introduced by several  notable investors and founders is the efficient founding team consists of  three types of people: a Hipster, a Hacker, and a Hustler ("The 3H"). The  Hipster designs the product or service, the Hacker builds it - and the Hustler  sells it.

The 3H concept is based on the belief that complementary skill sets in the  founding team are critical to effectively build and scale a company. We  believe this is more important in today's world than ever before. Technology  is getting cheaper, customers are increasingly connected and sophisticated,  and globalization means larger addressable markets. Albeit these trends are  great news for founders - it also means that investors expect to see results  sooner. Without in-house capabilities to address the tasks performed by the  3H, teams often end up wasting time or developing a suboptimal product or  service.

We observe the importance of these complementary skill sets in non-startup  team settings as well. Traditional management consultancies (e.g. McKinsey,  BCG, Bain) are increasingly including design and technology expertise in their  core teams that service its clients, to help the client design, build and sell  their products and services. In large companies, cross-functional teams are  also becoming increasingly popular to take advantage of the different  perspectives and backgrounds.

The 3H concept does not mean that you need three people in every co-founding  team. For example, some people can be both great "Hustler" and a  "Hipster", and others can be a fantastic CTO while also have tremendous  sales capabilities. It does, however, provide a framework to stress test  whether these critical skill sets sufficiently covered by the core team.

Why does this matter? We know from research (CBInsights, ArcticStartup &  Co-Founder Magazine) that the wrong founding team is amongst the top reasons  why companies fail. Great talent in itself does not lead to great companies if  the team is not right.

At Antler, we acknowledge the importance of getting exceptional talent into  the right teams, and we spend significant time and resources on getting it  right. If you are an aspiring founder looking to change the world - we want to  help you succeed!

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