Contently cofounder and author Shane Snow has had his fair share of fraught working relationships. Role confusion, disproportionate workloads, and lack of training all hindered his path to rock band stardom. In a Fast Company article, Snow shares insights he gained about startups through his experiences in music.
Snow suggests the following characteristics of great bands, which should be considered when building a successful startup team:
- They're similar enough to groove together and get along well through rough patches.
- They're different enough to create tension, which leads to creativity.
- They're each specialists at their own instruments, yet competent at each others'.
YOU CAN'T ALL PLAY GUITAR
Snow likens the formation of a strong leadership team to that of a strong musical group. In the same way that everyone may want to be the lead singer, startup employees may find themselves vying for the position of CEO. Those looking to launch a business together should be able to trust each other to play different parts, and respect each individual’s role.
SOLO ACTS RARELY WORK
Avoid the one-man-band. No one can do all the work, and collaborative thinking often produces the best results. "Teammates motivate, balance, and prevent inventors from going too far in the quest to push boundaries," Snow says.
GREAT COLLABORATIONS ARE UNIQUE
Snow believes a good team needs, "The Looks, The Brains, and The Wildcard," a concept he borrowed from the FX sitcom It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Without the wildcard, there is no tension to drive innovation. For Snow, the wildcard is Contently's CTO, a self-designated devil's advocate.