Moneyball For Startups

Dan Frommer wrote an interesting post on SplatF yesterday talking about the possibility of a quantitative assessment of founders/founding teams, like they use in baseball. Bottom line is that Dan talked to some leading VCs and none of them use quantitative methods to measure teams. It seems like gut instinct is alive and well in VC land.

Dan quoted me on the topic:

“We have not been able to quantify it. We haven’t even tried. Although I am sure someone could do it and they might be very successful with it.

To us, the ideal founding team is one supremely talented product oriented founder and one, two, or three strong developers, and nothing else. The supremely talented product oriented founder should have been obsessed about a product area/idea for a long period of time and just has to build something to satisfy their passion/curiosity. That’s about it. Joshua Schachter/Delicious, Jack Dorsey/Twitter, Dennis Crowley/Foursquare are the iconic examples of this kind of person in our portfolio.”

We very much engage in pattern recognition but not number crunching. There just aren't that many stats out there on entrepreneurial talent. But we sure like to think that when a great entrepreneur walks into our door, we will recognize him or her as such.