Then keep on reading, over the last ten years I have interacted with different youth lead initiatives in the community who had great ideas that our society needs, but unfortunately some of them died off slowly not only because of lack of funds, but also because of the weak foundations on how they started the initiative which led to poor leadership, shift in vision, fatigue and the idea eventually became obsolete with time.
This phenomenon led my curiosity in understanding what really happens between the successful model versus those that failed. Majority of the young people have the desire to innovate projects that would solve existing problems in the society and promote their well being taking an active role in either embracing emerging solutions in use of technology, sports. music, agriculture, business etc.
One of the biggest question is HOW TO START? How do you initiate an idea and which route should one take? Should one take the individual route or form a team at the earliest stage of the startup.
In my experience those initiatives that have lived the test of time are based on the Super duo type at the early stages and eventually grows into a bigger team as the project scale with time versus availability of the necessary resources to support the laid foundation.
In my observation there exist two routes for starting which are;
- Super Duo type.
- The Gathering Type.
Super duo type; The model is based on the founder and co-founder. Individual moment is at the centre of everything. The idea starts with one person and later in the stage of idea lifecycle invites a complementary person as a co-founder and later after stability recruits the next layer of members.
- Swift decision making and compact in idea.
- More focused and can survive without money for a start.
- Focused vision and the founders are dealing with what they have gone through or thinks need to be done based on some research. It is easy to streamline the direction to take and set goals.
- Ownership is clear and easy to make transitions.
- Might suffer limited resources within the duo compared to a team of more than two.
- Might have limited knowledge compared to a group more than two
- Might suffer burnout, doing too many things.
- Might fail to realize the set goal incase of major conflict which can lead to a split.
The gathering type; Group shared moment is at the centre of everything and is usually started by a group of three people and beyond. Everyone feels like the founder in a way because the idea was born with a group either in a meet up event, fellowship, school experience, work experience, etc.
- Wide spread knowledge based on the number of members.
- Wide spread resource
- Continuity incase a member is absent.
- Wide spread delegation of tasks and roles.
- Slow in decision making because of wide consultation and everyone wants to feel included in almost everything.
- Can fail to take off incase of conflict within the team. Might suffer moving of 'goal post' in the transitions.
- Wide spread vision which is not checked can randomly change.
- Might take a long time / route before internalizing the idea into a product that is agreed by all.
- Members might drop out incase they find other better engagements if the initiative isn't paying them anything.
The gathering type usually suffers What is in it for me syndrome from the onset and if members don't see immediate rewards for their efforts they might opt to leave. It can be tough to set long time goals with a gathering type of more than three people. On the other side the super duo type is grounded on long term gains as opposed to short term gains. It is more driven by What is required of me to make it happen, the founders are set to do more to see the idea into reality and they strive to learn more and find the best match of people as the project grows.