Innovators vs. Wannabes

"There are three levels of business founders; they're called your A, B, and C players. "

I get to meet all types of people, each with different backgrounds and life experiences, each bringing their unique perspective of the world. One such individual, the founder, and CEO of an emerging Arizona-based tech company (~$19mm in annual at the time of this article), completely blew me away with a frighteningly accurate synopsis of every business founder I’d ever worked with.


Here's his breakdown:

There are three levels of leaders; they're called your A, B, and C players. 

Your “A” guys have a concept, turn it into a successful business, and are still able to assess the state of their industry, identify a new need, develop a new product and capture lightning in a bottle all over again. These guys are the serial entrepreneurs and the real innovators.  

Your “B” players are the majority. These are ones who have an idea, see it through to fruition and build a sustainable company. They’re either not interested, or not able, to innovate any additional ideas.

It's always easy to spot "C" players...they're the ones telling you all day long that they're "A" players.

Your “C” players, while the vast minority, sadly, make the most noise. These are the ones who have an idea and somehow start a business, but lack the capitalistic prowess to identify weaknesses inside their company or shifts in their industries, and end up running their businesses into the ground. Ironically, it’s the “C” players, that out of desperation, attempt to diversify their product line, all on the false premise that they're true innovators.

It's always easy to spot "C" players...they're the ones telling you all day long that they're "A" players.