Well, recently I had a chat with my current boss over my previous experience of getting booted out from a startup due to having different views from the 2 founders (they were very gd friends and always agree with each other) from time to time.
His reply was he feels new startups typically cannot tolerate people who hold/like to raise different opinions from the founder as they feel it is slowing them down even if the different opinion is actually a better one if carefully considered and adopted. Thus he said I'm perhaps not suitable in new startups with young founders as I tend to raise different opinions to an issue which he says he like in a more stable startup environment but not so sure if it's good in a very new startup.
Obviously, it hurts to hear the hard truth (if it's true), but I would like hear more opinions too. As startup founders in the founding years of your company, do you guys very much prefer people who almost always agree with you and to keep quiet when they didn't? Is groupthink actually valued because decisions arrives much quicker?
Well, it depends.
If people are good at participating in the discussion, understand the long term goals and the principles under which we are operating the business and their arguing from the "best for all concerned" then I would definitely want tham in the discussion and am happy when they can convince me I'm wrong.
If on the other hand they don't share the same core values, are trying to improve their own position over everyone else, just want to say no and kill ideas, don't understand the full range of implications (and aren't willing to learn), then they are just a road block which isn't adding value to the discussion.
A few examples of the negative:
A few examples of the positive:
So overall I think the group discussion is critical to long term success, no one person can know it all or do it all and different experience and backgrounds are vital to help navigate the near limitless set of problems and hurdles thrown at founders. But you need to choose wisely and work out who is contributing well and who is damaging the results. This is a key challenge for the leaders in any walk of life.
Different opinions are a problem anywhere. And which opinion is 'better' is typically decided by the golden rule (who ever has the gold rules).
Groupthink (which is a another name for a committee) is very difficult to get right. All you need is one win-every-argument person or a weak leader and the process fails.
Instead, try 'selling' your ideas. Find out their objections and reasons and see if you can work around them and 'sell' your idea.
Most startups rarely stick to their original strategy, so I don't see the advantage of blindly following the current plan.
As long as you are inserting your opinions in your area of exertisee, the group should be thinking like you.
No two or more people agree on everything.
Are you a partner or an employee?
EDIT: Pick your battles wisely. Use tact and select appropriate times and places to express your concerns. Being right is not an excuse to be rude.