Team Stage:Starting And Growing A Tech Startup

team stage start and grow a tech startup

Last week, I shared the step by step checklist for starting a tech startup. This week, we look at building a team to help you accomplish this vision. Here is the link. 

Note that you may not need a team when starting out since every business is different. This checklist is for those who require someone else to help them at least get enough traction to move forward.

1
Many startup founders attribute having a great team as being one of the reasons for their success.

Pick partners or team members who have the following traits:
Has a deep understanding in a relevant skill, discipline or industry(It is best to work with people whose skills compliment yours)
Courageous and bold
Driven and Implements ideas quickly
Has a useful opinion on what you are building
Communicates well and is reasonable
Is not afraid to speak his or her mind but is not rude or condescending

2
“There are no self-made business successes. It takes a team of people who have the same vision and willingness to achieve a goal that contributes to startup success.
Most startups need someone to build the product and another person to sell it. In rare cases one person can do both but not for long.

It is usually advisable to either get a co-founder who complements your skills or to hire a team that will achieve the same purpose. For example, a purely technical founder can hire a business minded co-founder to help her with user acquisition.

For a tech business I recommend to start with a founding/management team of 4 people:

Christian Reber has this to share about building a tech startup team-

A product person
This person should be obsessed with the product details and strategy. They should be able to hire great designers to help build a better product. They should constantly think about the little yet big details of a product. They also (ideally) should have experience in building different kinds of products and understand not only how it’s designed, but also how it’s made (technically).

An engineer
This person needs to be incredibly skilled in engineering, and should ideally be an experienced CTO. They should know how to hire engineers, how to define a scalable architecture, how to build up a strong engineering culture — and how to build a maintainable product.

A marketing/sales machine
The next person (most companies forget) is an experienced sales/marketing founder. The person in this role should be able to define a world-class brand and develop it globally. They need to build up a strong team that can tell great stories to attract new customers, while keep the existing ones interested.

A business/finance person
Having a financial mastermind is an incredible asset, and reduces the risk of making financial mistakes in the beginning enormously (e.g. agreeing to the wrong investment terms). I would never start a company again without having someone taking over that role.

Also, traditionally 1 of those 4 people should take over the leading role. There are ways to build up a company without a leading role, but I think it’s more than healthy to ultimately give someone the authority to make the final call. It helps you keep up the speed.

When it comes to equity, be fair. Everyone should invest the same energy and the same amount of time. Also think about your first employees, it’s normal to let employees participate in the companies financial success by giving away virtual stock options. Make sure you hire an experienced lawyer for setting up the company.

Alternatively you can take the approach Basecamp(formerly 37 Signals) did and give team members salaries with no equity. Some founders have found success with this model. How you build your business depends on you. Don’t be pressured to choose an approach that you don’t understand or approve of.

Does your team have similar interests ?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure (will have to find out)

Member 1 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 2 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 3 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 3 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 4 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Next:
Define and Identify Paying Customers

P.S One of the greatest reasons for business failure is hiring and partnering with the wrong people. This cannot be stressed enough.

If you missed the Idea Stage roadmap, check it out here

P.S You may looking for more ways to improve your marketing in your startup. Here are some more tips on how to get more customers, increase sales or increase your startup’s profits. Start here

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