Do you have a Ninja Turtle Team?

The Ninja Turtles -hands down is one of my favorite cartoons shows of all time. After introducing my two year old nephew to them, he is hooked. As I watch how the turtles take on tasks I couldn’t help but relate the show to an entrepreneur working on a start up. The “Ninja Turtle team” is the perfect example of how entrepreneurs should model their Start up team.

Let’s evaluate the Turtle Team:

The Ninja Turtles consists of 4 mutant turtles, each of them with special unique skills and distinct personalities:

  • Donatello (My favorite Turtle):
  1. The Geek of the pack: Scientist, Inventor, Engineer, The “Tech Guy”
  2. Problem Solver
  3. All connoisseur — prefers to use his knowledge to solve problems
  4. Wears a purple mask and yields the bō
  5. He is named after the early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence, Donatello.
  6. Courageous Leader and devout student-
  7. This is the guy that always says “Let’s do it!”
  8. Can do attitude
  9. Motivator
  10. Leonardo wears a blue mask and wields two katana.
  11. named after the Italian polymath, scientist, engineer, inventor, anatomist, and painter, Leonardo da Vinci (not a shabby guy to have on your team huh ☺
  12. Aggressive
  13. Risk Taker — not afraid to try new thing
  14. wears a red mask and wields a pair of sai

He is named after the Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Raphael

  1. Creative and adventurous
  2. Easy going, provides the comic relief for the team
  3. wears an orange mask and wields a pair of nunchaku
  4. He is named after the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer, Michelangelo

And then there is the support system of the turtles:

  • Master Splinter (Sensei):
  1. Splinter is the guru, the principled adoptive father of the Ninja Turtles:
  2. Visionary
  3. Disciplined
  4. Strategic and thinks long-term
  5. This is the guy that harbors the idea and ensures that the team stays on track
  6. Splinter can be the founder, project or product manager
  7. A former lab assistant
  8. She has been a long aid of the team
  9. She’s does work in the public that the turtles cannot
  10. She’s great with working with media and everything related to the public (she would be the social media expert)

The Ninja Turtles team is agile and well balanced in every sense of the word. Most entrepreneurs start as a one man show however the success of your idea and vision heavily depends on your start up team. These are the people that will add value to your start up and work for many hours to get to your start up to the next phase, you should choose them carefully.

A well balanced team that works in harmony may not have all the solutions, but the key is working together to find solutions to existing problems or problems that may arise in the future. To get the perfect team may take time, and it may take even more time to start winning trophies but the end result should be a team that is in harmony, resilient and understand and value the vision of your start up.

While you may have a check list of skills that you lack and need in your start-up, do not forget that in the start up world things change frequently; competitors pop up, consumers change their behavior and habits, trends shift and new technologies come into play. Handpick a team that shares your values and vision. This will put you in a position where as, no matter what tides are sent your way, you can always rely on your team to overcome obstacles, whether it’s attracting investors or growing your startup.

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