Microsoft's Strategy Behind Taking Minecraft and Not Its Founders

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Microsoft is paying $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang, the publisher of popular video game Minecraft. But that hefty bill does not include the gaming company's founding trio. The news has sparked debate about the role of the founder and founding team. 

In a statement, the game's creator, Markus Persson, expressed his desire not to join the tech giant: “I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter."

Related: Microsoft's Missed Opportunity: Not Getting Minecraft's Founders?

But startup guru Steve Blank says it's more common for technical founders to vie for the CEO position. Blank, the professor who helped pioneer the Lean Startup movement, says automatically granting the 'idea-originator' a leadership position doesn't always guarantee scalability.

"The idea isn't the company," Blank says. "The idea and tech is just one piece of the company." He adds the original visionaries behind Apple, Oracle and Microsoft all understood this. Watch this quick video to learn Blank's guidelines for recruiting a strong team to build your company and establishing the power dynamics within the founding group.

Related: Steve Blank on Building Great Founding Teams

Edition: July 2017

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