AngelList – WTF?

I’ve noticed more and more flaky startups.  There are very few startups with a good business plan and good execution.

When someone says “startup”, they usually mean an Internet-based business or a software business.

In other areas of the economy, there are severe regulations and restrictions.  The Internet is relatively unregulated, leading to many people starting businesses there.  Even though the auto industry is incredibly inefficient, there aren’t many car manufacturing startups.  The regulations are a huge obstacle.

This page was interesting.  That shows a lack of understanding, for what makes a successful startup.

Look at that page.  What’s missing?

They have every sort of other service listed.  They have sales, accounting, marketing, and lawyers.  There’s a huge hole.

They don’t mention “programmers”!  That’s the #1 key ingredient for a successful software business.  They do have a category for “outsourced development”, which is usually a waste.  I’ve heard plenty of stories where someone spent a lot of money on an outsourcing team, but they didn’t deliver or delivered something lousy.

They do have a category for “co-founders”, but it really should be split into “technical co-founders” and “non-technical co-founders”.  It would be nice to find someone with a decent business plan who wanted to hire me to make version 1.0 of the product, but I haven’t seen that.

The “magic winning formula” for a successful startup is one guy who implements version 1.0 of the product, and one guy who focuses on raising capital and getting customers and getting revenue.

Normally, the programmer has high logical intelligence and low emotional intelligence, and the non-technical founder has high emotional intelligence and low logical intelligence.  I’ve seen startups where the founder had high logical intelligence but the programmers had high emotional intelligence.  That’s the formula for disaster, where the programmers waste resources while making excuses.

I’m surprised that few founders or VCs get it.  If you want a successful startup, you need a high-ability programmer implementing your product.  If you treat programmers like interchangable cogs, you aren’t going to succeed.  If you aren’t computer literate, you’re almost guaranteed to hire a good faker, rather than a genuinely great programmer.

I was offended that AngelList didn’t mention “programmers” or “technical co-founder” as a category.

One Response to AngelList – WTF?

  1. We already have a category for developers – it’s called Talent at http://angel.co/talent. Half of our site is devoted to it. The Needs page that you point to is just data gathering to see what category we should launch next.

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