What will you bet on!

Take a moment and think about business plan competitions. What do they require? A business idea, preferably an innovative one, which solves a real problem using a feasible solution!

Who wins the competition? The most interesting idea? The smartest or the most experienced team?  The most feasible idea? The idea with the highest projected revenues? The most entrepreneurial team? The idea with a proof of concept? If this question had a straight answer, it would have been much easier to crack these competitions. In that case, these competitions probably wouldn’t exist.

Though there are rules to judge and measure innovation, the ability of a team to start a business and the feasibility of an idea, the actual judgments are in most cases subjective. And that’s fine. As long as a judges panel consists of experts, investors, and entrepreneurs, one can be quite comfortable about the decisions. But again, human error cannot be done away with, particularly in such cases where one is betting.

So the fundamental question I want to stress here is : If you had to identify the most important parameter in deciding who should win or get funding in a business plan or ideas competition, what would you bet on? The idea or the individual!

The jockey or the horse. One school of thought says that since its the jockey who will keep the momentum, no matter how skilled or weak the horse is, the investors should bet on the jockey. It is assumed that the idea at hand might not be in its best shape but the individual/entrepreneur will take it to reality no matter what it takes. Another school of thought says that it is the idea and its feasibility that is most critical and no matter who the individuals driving it are, a good idea will make all the difference.

On a personal level, I would bet on the individual. What about you?