“I would rather be surrounded by smart people than have a huge budget. Smart people will get you there faster.”
— former McKinsey associate
as quoted in The McKinsey Way by Ethan Rasiel
Would you rather be rich or smart? Of course there is nothing wrong with saying ‘Both!’ Let’s throw in good looking and thin too. That is not really the point of the above quote is it? This is about your team. This is about knowing who you want on your side when it is time to solve problems. You can throw money at a problem and sometimes enough money will fix it. But that does not require resourceful thinking. True creativity kicks in when resources are constrained. That is when you want to be surrounded by smart people. You want smart people who are motivated by challenging circumstances, people who like to solve problems with their minds and not just with the company checkbook.
There is nothing wrong with having a strong budget, but given the choice between a smart team and large budget, go with the smart people. Intelligence does not disappear when the funding dries up.