Soft skills: The vacuum that exists within many Australian startups

From my participation on a number of startup boards and constant interaction with founders in our investment fund’s portfolio, I have observed that many founders are struggling with the soft skills required to effectively run and build their business.

And this is not just my own observation. According to Noam Wasserman, author of The Founder’s Dilemma, 65% of startups that fail do so due to ineffective management from the founders, not product or marketing problems.

So what’s the difference between a soft skill and a hard skill?

Hard skills are easy to understand and relate to the skills and knowledge needed to perform a job. These skills, such as marketing, programming, selling and financial management, can be gained through training programs, education, certifications and learning on the job.

Soft skills, on the other hand, are the people skills, character traits, social cues and communication skills needed for a person to be able to journey through their environment, work well with others and get the best out of others.

It is much easier to learn hard skills than to truly acquire the soft ones. This is more evident with first-time founders, who dedicate most of their energy towards acquiring hard skills, believing that the soft ones will just be there when needed. Read more

Garry Visontay – Smart Company – 13 Feb 2018