Following the departure of Monzo President Tom Blomfield, from the bank he created six years ago, founders will be forgiven for wondering if this might be them at some future date; burnt out and unhappy leading the companies they created.
Blomfield revealed that he had neither enjoyed nor felt he was good at the running and further scaling of the bank.
Dan Simmons, founder of UK launch accelerator Propelia believes that it will become more generally accepted that founders, like Blomfield, may not be the people that continue to run a fully grown start-up.
He says: “Founders are highly creative and innovative and thrive from the excitement of launching a new business. We need that talent to navigate new markets and push the boundaries of innovation. Monzo changed the very nature of banking for millennials for instance. But the fact that these founders may not be the best people to lead or grow a business should not be a problem for investors or customers if we can be more open about this from the start.
“Supporting ventures that are not yet product-market ready, advising and guiding founders are often not in the playbook for most VCs, but this will change.
“Admitting at a very early stage that you don’t have the right skills to take the business all the way should not be seen as a weakness and a reason not to secure investment. Both founders and investors need to accept this.”
Simmons also believes that investors are looking more closely at great people, who already have insight, authority and influence over their field or sector, who might not even think of themselves yet as a ‘founder’, with great ideas and not just those founders that already have a solution ready to take to market.
He continues: “In the era of the shift from Product to Founder market fit, investors will become more concerned with the skills, leadership qualities and even wellbeing of the person behind the idea, enabling founders with great, but very early stage ideas, permission to go to market and grow their pre-seed ventures in a different way.”