The Biggest Asset of a Company is its Team
Before providing venture funding, the main features that venture capital firms are looking into in a prospect company are business models, products, markets, growth, and management teams. Based on various articles and blog posts that I have read, I can confidently conclude that the most important item on this list is the management teams. In his blog, Jeff Bussgang quotes a research study that found that 65% of all startup failures are due to people issues.
This is not surprising at all as it is very difficult to build a strong cohesive team that supports its members and avoids the issues created by politics. In this post, businesstown.com gives a nice general guidelines on how to build a winning team. Also in his blog, Ben Horowitz gives some examples of events that could create politics in a company, and also provides some good advice on how to minimize the effects of these events.