Status Matters

That's what this article claims.

The nation's leading expert on status in the marketplace is Joel Podolny, a professor of both sociology and business at Harvard who has looked at status in several industries, most notably the California wine business. Wineries in high-status regions like Napa command higher prices than other domestic competitors, Podolny learned, even if those rivals use grapes of equal quality. And because buying good grapes and experimenting with different blends doesn't pay off, low-status wineries cut back on spending — further reinforcing Napa's dominance.

The same trends exist in biotech, according to University of Chicago professor Toby Stuart. His research showed that the key factor behind a start-up getting funding was not the strength of the idea, but the status of the people attached to the venture. "Without a connection to a top scientist, you have very little chance," he says.

An entrepreneur here on the Space Coast told me that VCs would rather fund a mediocre idea with a great management team than a great idea with a less experienced management team.

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