Founders nurturing their startups through incubation shouldn’t confuse social intelligence, also known as emotional intelligence (EI), for charisma—a trait often associated with storytellers like Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs of Apple. Mustering persistence and patience, byproducts of emotional maturity, helps more than charm.
An incubation platform mitigates risk by favoring learning. It allows the founding team to spin the startup’s learning loop, delivering intelligence about the offering and market. And it facilitates co-creation with customers and partners, helping to converge their shared understanding of the venture’s mission.