When it Comes to Startups, Think Team

Mar 18, 2011

When it comes to startups, team matters. The only way to succeed in this rapid evolving world is to stay ahead of the curve by continuing to innovate and be forward-thinkers. Without a strong support team behind you, this goal is impossible to maintain. TechCrunch provides tips on how to assemble the best team for a startup.

1. Only hire A players
There’s an old saying, “A players beget A players. B players beget C players.” Why? Well, A players are discerning and tend to only want to join somewhere where they perceive other A players are. B players tend to have slightly more self-confidence issues so they tend to hire people slightly worse than themselves – thus C teams.

Is this a universal truism? Of course not. But it is general pattern matching. And it’s why VCs tend to look for uber-talented founding teams. We know that if you start with ho-hum founders you’d less likely to assemble a world-class team.

So if you’re trying to scale your team be focused on quality. Don’t sacrifice. Don’t hire too quickly just because you raised money or because you feel pressure to make things happen. The minute you compromise on quality you’ve already begun the descent.

Aim high.

2. Find people to “punch above their weight class”
I wrote an entire blog post about this in the past highlighting my belief that you should hire people who “punch above their weight class.” But what does that actually mean?

It means that many management teams I know feel the need to hire people who have “done it before” and frankly many VCs encourage this. It’s a mistake. When you hire somebody too early who has already “done it” you often find somebody that is less motivated in tough times, less willing to be scrappy (as many startups need to be), more “needy” and less mentally flexible / willing to change their way of thinking.

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