Last week I talked about the real “Biz Guy” is, today I wanna talk about another invaluable type of startuper – one who carries the rhythm, the backup, and the soul of the startups.
Everyone wants to be a Rockstar…
When we’re growing up, we always picture ourselves as the lead singers, lead guitarists, and the showmen of a band – My mother will tell you that the long hair I had form age 14 until 21 was due to my desire to imitate Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain (she may be right). In the startup scene, it’s exactly the same: everyone wants to be the Frontman – much like a band, the Front Man can perform a variety of duties, but ultimately, his characteristics are the same: his ego shows that he takes more than his fair share of credit for the overall product, and the press gives him credit for just that. Sometimes this is a “biz guy” or a CEO, sometimes it’s a developer who thinks he’s invaluable.
The Rockstars ARE necessary.
Just like a band needs a frontman, a startup needs theirs as well. He’s the guy who can elevator pitch on demand, not from memory, but from passion. He’s the guy who’s network is bigger than his mouth, who can cold call a business angel into a 25,000 euro investment – he IS a Rockstar. But he relies on the ‘rhythm’ provided by his product team, the ‘backbeat’ provided by his development team, and all the roadies, techies, sound guys, and stage grew you can imagine.
When Rockstars go solo…
The only thing worse than a Rockstar without his band is a band full of Rockstars – just look that Them Crooked Vultures. The two worst things for a Rockstar are an attempt at a solo career, and an attempt at SuperGroup – the two are equally risky in different ways. In a startup, Frontmen cannot run the company alone, and 5 frontmen cannot share the responsibilities, because they all secretely want to be the sole frontman.
This is a Call….
I said awhile ago that France has too many startups – I think what I’d rather say is France has too many Frontmen. I get it: no one wants to be a bassist and provide backing vocals (except my roommate), but you know what: the backing vocalist gets paid. Well. And the backing vocalist gets asked to appear on other albums, because he “fits in the pocket” as my roommate would say. The Frontmen often can’t handle the fame, and spiral out of control in a variety of ways.
I think if more people stood up and said “I am a Bassist.” & “I am a Drummer,” we would have some pretty wicked sounding bands in the French startup scene. So: any bassists reading this article, just know: all those frontmen want to play music with you. And all you Frontmen out there, just know: all the solo’s and showboating in the world won’t produce a good record.
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