Building your team for your own startup

Mashable did it again. Check out Startup Hacks: Seven Ideas for Building Your Team

Seven ideas for building your startup team:

1. Hire like-DNA

Like DNA doesn’t necessarily mean like personalities. Hire people who get it, who see the world the same, but that have complementary skills. There’s an old saying that “it takes all kinds,” but don’t take that too literally. If you do, you’ll have analysis paralysis and you won’t accomplish anything in a timeframe that matters.

2. Too many chiefs

Don’t hire too many execs; being top heavy isn’t fun. It comes with egos, turf wars, high expense to your cash and cap table. A VP level role must be severely justified. Just because someone is the first employee, doesn’t mean they’re a VP. And just because someone’s a founder, doesn’t mean they’re a VP either. While we’re here, “founder” is not a job title, so avoid behaving as if it were.

3. Build a low fat company

People tend to over-hire so that they can scale to meet the demands of a hockey stick business that’s coming any day now. Don’t hire until it’s clear you have one of those hockey stick situations. You’ll burn less venture, social and emotional capital. The more bodies, the more drama and associated management. The fewer bodies, the less of that and likely the more you get done. You’ll be able to make decisions faster and implement them even faster. Understand, that in the early stages of a company, getting small wins is key. Momentum is like that: the sum of the small wins yields the bigger win, so on and so forth.

4. Be scrappy and hire scrappy

It’s the only way to fly in this era. Scrappy people find a way, they create momentum, they make things happen, they thrive on roadblocks, they don’t read the manual, they figure things out, they see the forest and the trees, they find openings in the field, they try fast and fail fast, but apply lessons learned quickly.

5. Can you feel it?

Chemistry is so, so, so important. You need to be able to WANT to have a drink or a meal with the people on your team. You need to be able to call B.S. at times, and for your teammates to not take things personally. You need to have personal and company alignment of interests. This level of engagement is only had with strong chemistry.

6. Hire in tribes

If you can find people that have enjoyed and had success working together in the past, keep them together. You can’t buy that. It’s like an instant catapult, and there’s no substitute.

7. Don’t hire (or partner with) your friends (for friendship sake)

Make sure there’s a major fit to the task or vision, otherwise you put a friendship on the line - and that can only go one of two ways. I have a friend that to this day is hurt because I didn’t ask him to join a company I started. Truth was, we had a good chemistry friendship, but that didn’t qualify for a good chemistry business venture. I’m just glad to still have the friendship.

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