September 15, 2012

"It's all About the People" - The Truism that Stays True

From a Mixergy podcast interview with Dr.Rajiv Kumar of US-based corporate wellness service ShapeUp. (Emphasis mine)
What’s the one takeaway that you have? One thing that you say, hey you know, I am better because I have this one understanding after having built this business.

Rajiv: Yeah, I think it would probably sound very obvious and maybe somewhat cliché, but at the end of the day, every single thing that a business does, successes and failures, are all about people, and can’t underestimate that. I think we know it, but we forget it sometimes. But it is the people that makes everything happen or makes thing not happen. There’s a huge opportunity cost to having a wrong person in a position, and you don’t realize that opportunity cost until that person leaves, and because either there’s a void and you realize that this person was actually dragging the company down, or someone who comes in that’s much better and you realize how much more quickly you’re accelerating. And when you have that right person in place, magical things start to happen and it really has an amazing effect on the company.

And so, at the end of the day it’s all about the people and you can’t invest enough in people and culture. I think in early parts of start-up companies, often you just focus on the product or the vision or whatever it is. You don’t focus as much on people and culture. But it’s true. It’s not just smoke and mirrors or just something that people are paying lip service to. It is all about people and we need to optimize our companies around investing in people and finding the right people and keeping the people that we have happy and motivated.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers.