When Mike and I were students at the University of South Carolina, we both took Dr. Richard Robinson’s class on entrepreneurship.
Dr. Robinson says that every business needs three key people – a Finder (sales), a Minder (accounting) and a Grinder (operations).
Although it doesn’t really rhyme, I’ve added one more to this list. You need a Dreamer. I am convinced now more than ever that if you lose that crazy, dynamic imagination that you find in start ups, you are through. It may take a long time to die, but you become a zombie company.
Case in point is Microsoft and Apple. What has Microsoft been since Bill Gates left? What has Apple become since Steve Jobs returned? The questions answer themselves.
PassageMaker works with start-ups every day. When I am evaluating the client, I am far more interested finding if they have a Dreamer than the other roles. You can hire the others, but I don’t think you can hire a Dreamer.
As we approach the 234th birthday of this great country, I am still hopeful despite the current dismal situation. The Founders were Dreamers of the first order, and as long as we hold on to that inheritance, we’ll be fine.