We often take it for granted in startups that a team will “emerge” when we get the right chemical combination, as if the primordial slime will simply make the right cocktail that will solve the problem, remove the pain point, build the better mousetrap.
A better approach would be — might be — to explore what it takes to develop an effective team and ask ourselves, “Are we doing anything even remotely like this?”
Understandably, there is a lot of emphasis on product, but is there enough on team?
There is a lot of research out there that suggests certain methodologies, but I think one of the best ways to approach the issue is along the lines of how the military forms, trains, evaluates, operates, and re-constitutes combat arms units.
How the military does it
I think it essentially mirrors many of the academic methodologies. To jump ahead, I am talking about team building processes like Drexler-Sibbet. Hold that thought.
First, allow me to say that most people in the Army who are involved with this are following a prescribed training methodology. They did not develop the methodology. They are unlikely to have spent a lot of time considering it. They may not intellectually embrace it. They may not really think about it (until they become a company commander) .They just follow the methodology.