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Phillip H. Kim and Howard E. Aldrich

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Phillip H. Kim and Howard E. Aldrich

Many people claim to be experts when it comes to launching new businesses. Aspiring entrepreneurs can easily read how-to articles, listen to inspiring TED talks, and follow online the journeys of other founders. A quick search on Google for ‘founding team advice’ yields over 11 million hits. But how much of this advice is actually valid and fruitful for entrepreneurs? Do these insights hold up when evaluated against findings from academic research? This chapter reviews several common themes concerning strategies for constructing founding teams, promoted by practitioners and consultants in the popular press, and analyses their veracity and feasibility using published findings from academic research. Thereafter, detailed discussions will demonstrate that following the proposed advice is extremely difficult to follow (given the constraints faced by founding teams), while additionally highlighting that some advice is evidence-based and some stems from practitioner insights that appear worthy of further investigation. The chapter concludes by outlining some research pathways.