Startup founders, on top of their grand plans to save the world from something, almost always have a role model that they look up to.
New York-based venture capital firm First Round Capital, whose portfolio includes Uber, recently conducted a survey of their own, asking about 700 startup founders who they admired.
Surprise (Or Not) – It’s Elon Musk
At the top of the list is none other than the founder of Tesla and SpaceX himself – Elon Musk, with 23% of respondents naming him as the tech founder they admired most.
Not surprising, considering that Mr. Musk is pretty much a media darling with overflowing ambition to change the world.
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From unleashing a fleet of next generation electric vehicles through Tesla to creating futuristic means of travel with Hyperloop One, Musk has been taking bold steps to change the way we live. But his achievements do not stop there.
SolarCity is set to become the world’s largest alternative energy source, and Mr. Musk has already announced revolutionary plans to colonise Mars with SpaceX to take humanity past Earth’s borders.
We See Other Familiar Names On The List
At number two, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos comes in at a far second with 10% of respondents choosing him.
With Amazon’s impending arrival in Singapore, expect to see this name being thrown about even more often in the next month.
Next up is Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, voted by 6% of those surveyed.
As the man behind the world’s largest social network, the rise of Facebook from being a college website to one of the biggest tech companies in the world, is a success story many still try to emulate.
With a mere 1% difference comes the late co-founder of Apple.
Steve Jobs still carries on his legacy as a well-respected figure among founders, and his quotes are still being used as beacons of inspiration.
Lastly, among female founders, 5% of them cited Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg as the person they admired.
Other Statistics Of Interest
The survey also yielded some interesting results found among those startup founders.
A majority of startups have at least two founders, and the relationship usually started when they were in college.
91% agreed that the best time to start a company is now, while opinions were split down the middle when asked if they would start another company in a different industry.
The startups involved also were optimising their companies for growth (61%) rather than profitability, while 48% hope to become profitable in 1 to 3 years.
In terms of office culture, these startups admitted that their teams (59%) and board members (61%) are mostly an all-male affair, while most agree that they are keeping teams lean with hiring at a bare minimum.
While these results mainly reflect the American demographic, it can also be applied to other parts of the world. After all, as in most cases, the various startup capitals of the world tend to model themselves after Silicon Valley.
It’ll be interesting to see the same survey being replicated all over the world just to see how startup cultures truly differ.