In the quest to build a strong and sustainable company, forming the right startup team is the first step.
Venture capitalists fund teams because the success of any organization is dependent on not the strength of the idea or product, but on the strength of the team.
A good plan is good but plans could change as new opportunities present themselves and market conditions change. However, a solid startup team could easily adjust to any change and pivot.
If you’re looking to build a startup team, here are a couple of advice:
Don’t start with a layer of executives.
If you’re building a startup company, you need to employ people in more functional roles more than a roster of VPS.
You can get started with two co-founders that complement each other. Take for example, you can be the business guy and your co-founder could be a creative engineer.
That sounds like a good team, but you also need to make sure you both get along.
Bring experience to functional roles
Startup culture today encourages inexperience in a way. You may be a CEO for the first time in your startup, you’ll go through a lot of on-the-job learning.
Don’t surround yourself with other people who are also inexperienced. Experience matters.
Generalists are undervalued
In the early stages, you’ll need to take advantage of generalists. People who can brainstorm outside of their role or function, people who can do so many things.
To get this framework rooted in your young company, ensure you hire the core technical skills you need but surround them with generalists or people who have the ability to switch roles easily.
Look for failures
People who have failed and bounced back often make better employees than people who have never failed.
Failure is a great source of insight, and people who are not beat by failure and can figure a way out again have the right personality for a young company or startup.
Don’t hire people like you
Cross-pollination of ideas, talents and philosophies is essential for a startup try not to hire people like you as you’ll need diverse experience.
Hire people you like because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them.
Always focus on the next step
When hiring an employee, it is imperative that you look out for character because everyone you hire is a magnet for other future hires.
Never hire an egomaniac, no matter how accomplished the person is, and never hire an ego, no matter how talented the individual is.
They will do more damage than their talent can make up for. (And if that asshole is you, it’s best you admit it and seek help.)
There is no substitute for passion
Many startups can’t pay top dollar for talent, and if you’re like any startup you should take advantage of people who are passionate about their work.
You need your team to share in the passion for what you’re doing. They should see working toward changing the world through your business as valuable.
If they aren’t passionate, if they don’t feel like they’re making any positive impact in the world with you, they’ll handle your passion like their job and you don’t want that.
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