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Proverbial wisdom states that “birds of a feather

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Proverbial wisdom states that “birds of a feather  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2018, 19:44
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Proverbial wisdom states that “birds of a feather flock together.” Studies have shown that people of similar geographical and educational backgrounds and functional experience are extremely likely to found companies together. Not considering spousal teams in the dataset, it has been found that a founding team is five times more likely to be all-male or all-female team. Also, it is more likely to find founding teams that are remarkably homogeneous with regard to skills and functional backgrounds.

Homogeneity has important benefits. For the founder struggling to meet the challenges of a growing startup, selecting cofounders from among the people with whom he or she probably has important things in common is often the quickest and easiest solution. Not only does it generally take less time to find such people, but it also generally takes less time to develop effective working relationships with such similar people. When founders share a background, they share a common language that facilitates communication, ensuring that the team begins the work relationship with a mutual understanding and hence can skip over part of the learning curve that would absorb the energies of people with very different backgrounds. Increasing homogeneity may, therefore, be a particularly alluring- and, in some ways, a particularly sensible - approach for novice founders heading into unfamiliar territory. Certainly, studies have found that the greater the heterogeneity among executive team members, the greater the risk of interpersonal conflict and the lower the group-level integration. Even though it is very appealing to opt for the “comfortable” and “easy” decision to found with similar cofounders, by doing so founders may be causing long-term problems. Teams with a wide range of pertinent functional skills may be able to build more valuable and enduring startups. Conversely, homogenous teams tend to have overlapping human capital, making it more likely that the team will have redundant strengths and be missing critical skills.


1. From the passage, which of the following cannot be inferred as a benefit of homogeneous teams?
A. Finding a suitable PR and advertising person to add skills that the founders lack.
B. Using Six Sigma tools that the founders are familiar with to exchange information.
C. Evolving from concept to product quickly due to flawless execution.
D. Quickly dividing a complex task into subtasks and assigning them to different teams for execution.
E. Reduce interpersonal conflict while making key decisions.


2. Which of the following can be inferred about start-ups that comprise of homogeneous teams?
A. They may take longer than average to make decisions in areas that the founding members are not familiar about.
B. When they comprise of members who are remarkably homogeneous with regard to skills and functional backgrounds, they may not be able to build more valuable ventures.
C. They usually do not head into unfamiliar territory.
D. They are at a far greater risk of interpersonal conflict than an average startup is.
E. They may have redundant strengths that go underutilized.


3. The author’s main purpose of writing the passage is to:
A. evaluate the benefits and downsides of startups with a particular buildup of founding teams.
B. disprove an accepted notion regarding the success of startups comprising of homogeneous teams.
C. describe a thesis by presenting its upsides and downsides.
D. list the scenarios under which a particular buildup of founding teams may be successful.
E. submit contrasting benefits of various team structures in achieving a particular task


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Re: Proverbial wisdom states that “birds of a feather  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2018, 21:44
Hi Skywalker18,

Can you please provide the explanation for Q1. Thank you!
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New post 14 Jun 2018, 01:08
2

Question 1



The answer is A


We'll go for the

Alternative

approach - since we are asked which cannot be the case, we'll just go over the answers and check which is wrong:

A. Finding a suitable PR and advertising person to add skills that the founders lack. But this is an advantage of heterogeneity - with homogeneity ether would be no such PR person! definitely wrong
B. Using Six Sigma tools that the founders are familiar with to exchange information. good communication is indeed described as an advantage
C. Evolving from concept to product quickly due to flawless execution. speed is indeed described as an advantage
D. Quickly dividing a complex task into subtasks and assigning them to different teams for execution. yes - homogenous teams are described as efficient
E. Reduce interpersonal conflict while making key decisions.this is explicitly stated
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New post 14 Jun 2018, 01:14

Question 2


The answer is B.

We'll use the

Logical

approach, since we are asked to infer.
The passage lists many advantages of homogenous teams, yet in the end it describes some disadvantages. By telling us that heterogenous teams may build "more valuable" startups, we can directly infer that homogenous teams may build less valuable ones - answer (B).

If we're still not sure, we can eliminate the other answers:
A. They may take longer than average to make decisions in areas that the founding members are not familiar about. the exact opposite is stated
C. They usually do not head into unfamiliar territory. the opposite is stated: " Increasing homogeneity may, therefore, be a particularly alluring- and, in some ways, a particularly sensible - approach for novice founders heading into unfamiliar territory"

D. They are at a far greater risk of interpersonal conflict than an average startup is. the opposite is stated: they are at a lesser risk
E. They may have redundant strengths that go underutilized. they do have redundant strengths - but why would these be underutilized? we'd except the opposite - they would mainly use these strengths
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Re: Proverbial wisdom states that “birds of a feather  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2018, 01:29
1

Question 3


The answer is B.

We can solve using the

Logical

approach - let's just ask ourselves: What is this passage about?

Well, the passage opens by describing a phenomenon (startup founding homogeneity), then goes on to describe its advantages, and then disadvantages. No clear judgement is given on whether the pros or the cons are stronger. So it seems the goal is to simply A. evaluate the benefits and downsides of startups with a particular buildup of founding teams.

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Re: Proverbial wisdom states that “birds of a feather  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2018, 03:26
DavidTutorexamPAL wrote:

Question 3


The answer is B.

We can solve using the

Logical

approach - let's just ask ourselves: What is this passage about?

Well, the passage opens by describing a phenomenon (startup founding homogeneity), then goes on to describe its advantages, and then disadvantages. No clear judgement is given on whether the pros or the cons are stronger. So it seems the goal is to simply A. evaluate the benefits and downsides of startups with a particular buildup of founding teams.
Can you please explain why C is wrong for ques 3?
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New post 14 Jun 2018, 04:35
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vtomar20 wrote:
DavidTutorexamPAL wrote:

Question 3


The answer is B.

We can solve using the

Logical

approach - let's just ask ourselves: What is this passage about?

Well, the passage opens by describing a phenomenon (startup founding homogeneity), then goes on to describe its advantages, and then disadvantages. No clear judgement is given on whether the pros or the cons are stronger. So it seems the goal is to simply A. evaluate the benefits and downsides of startups with a particular buildup of founding teams.
Can you please explain why C is wrong for ques 3?


Sure thing vtomar20
answer 3 says "C. describe a thesis by presenting its upsides and downsides."
Well, we definitely have downsides and upsides here, so that part's correct. But what is the thesis? What is being discussed - homogeneity of startup founders - is a phenomenon or maybe a method, not a thesis.
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Re: Proverbial wisdom states that “birds of a feather  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2018, 05:18
I don't understand how C is not the answer in question 1:

Quote:
C. Evolving from concept to product quickly due to flawless execution


Keeping GMAT preferences in mind I can't see how "flawless execution" can be a valid statement. Its so extreme that it usually can't be a correct answer.
Additionally, we're talking about start-ups. In what world can start-ups have a flawless execution when developing a new product?
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New post 16 Jun 2018, 23:14
Masterscorp wrote:
I don't understand how C is not the answer in question 1:

Quote:
C. Evolving from concept to product quickly due to flawless execution


Keeping GMAT preferences in mind I can't see how "flawless execution" can be a valid statement. Its so extreme that it usually can't be a correct answer.
Additionally, we're talking about start-ups. In what world can start-ups have a flawless execution when developing a new product?


You have a point, it is quite strong language to use. However, (A) is simply more wrong - it mentions something which is totally unconnected, whereas C states something which is exaggerated.
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New post 02 Oct 2018, 23:24
workout
in question 3 why not option c?
passage tells about upside and downside.
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New post 28 Oct 2018, 08:14
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Analysis to Q1 -

Q1 is tricky.

A. Finding a suitable PR and advertising person to add skills that the founders lack.
- Correct. This homo group simply means that the founder is trying to find someone similar to him/her to work together. Option A clearly states that the founder is trying to find someone who's not similar to him/her (or who has different skills set) to work together. Thus, Option A is kind out of scope since finding people with different skills is not what homo group is about.

B. Using Six Sigma tools that the founders are familiar with to exchange information.
- Wrong. Finding a similar background is what homo group is about.

C. Evolving from concept to product quickly due to flawless execution.
- Wrong. It's inferred in the paragraph. Check the following sentence from the paragraph:
"When founders share a background, they share a common language that facilitates communication, ensuring that the team begins the work relationship with a mutual understanding and hence can skip over part of the learning curve that would absorb the energies of people with very different backgrounds."
It's clear that working in a homo group, people can skip some steps and jump to production very quickly.

I understand that "flawless" is a strong word. But remember why GMAT rejects strong words. Strong word is usually not supported by the paragraph explicitly. For example, if the paragraph tells you that it's highly likely for Long Island driver to use Manhattan bridge to travel to NYC, it'll be wrong to say that Long Island use "only" Manhattan bridge for a city trip because "only" is not supported by the paragraph. However, if a paragraph tells you that this rock is formed 100% by element A, it's ok to conclude that "only" element A forms the rock.

Simply seeing a strong word is not a good-enough reason to reject an option. If the option that contains strong words is not supported by the paragraph or there is clearly a better option to pick, we should be comfortable to not pick a strong-word option.

Back to Option C. Whether or not the execution is flawless is irrelevant and out of scope. The benefit of homo group is about the skipping several earlier stages of a new team, a situation that may exist in both flaw and flawless execution.

D. Quickly dividing a complex task into subtasks and assigning them to different teams for execution.
-Wrong. Same logic as C.

E. Reduce interpersonal conflict while making key decisions.
-Wrong. This is close but wrong. The paragraph does state a risk that among executive group, there could be interpersonal conflicts. But such situation is a small sample and Option is too general. If you check again the earlier in paragraph 2, Option E, with its general sense, is actually also supported, for example, "it takes less time to develop working relationships xxx". So the answer, though it has a risk, is a good enough answer.
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