Success in Founder Skills

The famous English playwright, William Shakespeare, once said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Creating a startup business requires sacrifices and hard work, but whether you were born with the necessary Founder Skills or learned them along the way, the road to success will always be attainable for leaders who can harness and apply the Founder skillsets into their startup.

Many startups fail in the first four years of activity because leaders fail to implement Founder skills to combat the challenges faced during their first year. A recent study by the Harvard Business Review in 2017 surveyed 141 Harvard Business School Alumni on what they believe are skills aspiring founders should prioritize. These are the results of the study:


A majority of survey takers stated that the top three skills for an aspiring founder are: founding team assembly, leadership, and product management. The key similarities between these skills are the focus on the foundation of the startup.  By making sure that the foundation of any startup is strong and solidified, many businesses can overcome challenges faced in the early stages on the path towards success.

Another survey conducted on non-MBA graduate founders sought what they believed to enhance leadership and management skills. These founders believe that these skills are needed to succeed in any business venture:

  • Resourcefulness: Finding creative solutions for different challenges faced.
  • Vision: Creating a long-term vision through trust, strategic thinking, and passion
  • Communication: Share your ideas and influence the organization effectively
  • Focus: Not losing sight of critical matters during early-stage development
  • Patience and resilience: Struggle through the challenges to create milestones and achievements. 
  • Grit: Work hard because if you do not act, no one will

Applying the Founder skills during the development stage can cement the foundation of a startup. Venturing into the world of entrepreneurship can be difficult, but the Founders’ skills can be what creates a successful entrepreneur.

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