Jim Meyerle is the Managing Director and Co-founder of the Founders Factory. After having built and sold his own venture backed software business, his new venture puts him in front of breakout founders as well as founders in the very earliest stages of building their businesses. He believes that 60% of success is driven by the capabilities of a company's founding team. These are the 7 attributes he associates with exceptional founders (i.e. the teams in which he invests).
Jim Meyerle is an interesting man. He splits his time between San Francisco and London and brings much of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial spirit to the UK. He's seen firsthand what it means to start a successful technology business. He took his last company from PowerPoint slides to backing by many of the top venture funds in the Bay Area. Their core product was utilized by over twenty percent of the Fortune 100, helped to transform how companies utilized data to better engage their global workforces, and was then acquired by an industry leader last year.
He's now launched Founders Factory, a new model for technology business creation. Located in London, Founders Factory seeks out exceptional founders and invests in early stage businesses across multiple sectors. It's a model with big ambition and huge scale--backed by some of the largest global corporations and investing in over 200 businesses over the next five years. He is considered by many to be an example of an entrepreneurial resurgence in the UK. "Ideas are cheap", Mr. Meyerle told me in a recent interview. "Who's doing the execution makes the difference between success and failure."
With that in mind, I asked him to break down for me how he predicts the success and failure of early stage start-ups. It has been said that 9 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first 10 years. So what determines the 1 that succeeds versus the 9 others that fail? According to Mr. Meyerle, the X-Factor is an exceptional founder who possess at least 5 of the following 7 attributes.
How did you do? Can you check off at least 5 of these 7 traits? If so, you are predisposed to being an exceptional founder. If not, what can you learn from those who have gone before you? By understanding what it takes to be an exceptional founder, you can hone the skills you already have simply by being deliberate and focusing on developing them even further.