The Roggr Rule

Idly chatting on IRC with other nerds, and reading stories about failed startups, this particular quote got me thinking:
  • Problem 1: Founders
We are two founders (business oriented). In a very short time, we ended up 6 people with various business areas of expertise (web marketing, communication, finance, legal, etc.) but no tech person. Wrong. Each one of my co-founders was a kick ass guy/girl in their own area of expertise but every tech/web startup needs a tech person. This tech person is actually the core of any startup, everyone else is expendable (early stage).
Mistake #1: Assemble a small (2, 3) team. Get a tech co-founder.
My first reaction was "duh", which is a little glib and facile. But then, looking back at my previous startups, I came up with the following completely baseless, arbitrary, unsubstantiated, and therefore awesome, rule of startups, which I modestly named The Roggr Rule:
Any Web startup that doesn't have 2-3x as many techies as business people until it has 15+ heads will fail
Expect to read abundant case studies in best-selling business school textbooks soon.


  1. Sometimes you may have the opposite problem: tech guys with no business connections. I was wondering, when you initiate a startup how do you get people to work for free for the little whatever amount of time before seeding ?

  2. You can put together an advisory board and pay them in future stock. Ideally, though, you'd have 1-2 tech people and 1-2 business people starting the business together, and everybody is paid the same at the beginning (i.e. nothing) until funding comes in. Reaching cash-flow-positive status ASAP is also an alternative to VC funding--depending on the business, it's definitely possible, and it gives you more control over your own destiny.