Studies Show Diverse Startup Teams Outperform Their Peers

September 16, 2016 - 2 minutes read

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Diversity is more than just a buzzword in Silicon Valley. A study in the last year by McKinsey found that ethnically diverse teams outperformed their peers by as much as 35 percent.

MIT, Columbia University, and other leading research institutions have made similar findings. Overall, homogenous teams tend to make more predictable decisions — and predictability can spell doom for tech companies and iOS app developers in the disruption economy.

For iPhone app developers, San Francisco can be difficult place to source talent in the first place, leaving team diversity on the back burner when startups assemble their core teams. Research from innovation specialists suggest that diverse backgrounds can improve results at every stage from brainstorming and planning to coding and execution. Regardless of the facts, many techies are guilty of acting on bias and preferring to work with people who remind them of themselves.

App developers can expect this priority to change in coming years, as tech pundits and venture capitalists are increasingly starting to look at details like diversity when they place their bets on seed-stage startups. Agencies will see a similar pattern, particularly as the education system catches up with the tech economy. Increased globalization in tech works towards the same end.

That said, statistics still show app development and tech in general to be a boy’s club of sorts. Only 3 percent of senior leadership teams are ethnically diverse. A TechCrunch report states that “only 5 percent of the S&P 500 index has a female CEO.”

Why do people strive for diversity in their investments but not in their team makeups? For most app developers, the answer is simply limits on the hiring pool. For others, it’s unconscious bias. For others still, the answer is even uglier. Only time will break up the status quo in tech — and that time is quickly approaching, thanks to the efforts of forward-thinking app development studios and venture capitalists.

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