I am almost done with the MVP and will start looking for the first sales within the next couple of months on a content and specialized communications website. After going to market and, hopefully getting some traction, I want to seek funding to be able to scale and complete the product. What are the essential positions I need to include in the growth plan? How many engineers vs other essential roles? Currently I am outsourcing most functions but the sales and overall strategy.
Who you hire is very much dependent on what is core to you, and what can be outsourced. Core = the one thing you can do better than anyone else in the world - therefore you must "own" the best people and processes for hiring, training, managing these people. Look to outsource everything else - assuming you can find really good companies.
Hi Mauricio -
As an investor, team is the #1 thing I look for in a startup - so I would look to bring key responsibilities in-house.
If your #1 priority is sales - look for sales people.
Write down who would be the ideal candidate and do not compromise until you find the perfect person.
It depends on the technical complexity, target market and product development. Need a minimum of 2 - biz and techie guys, although I have met egos who claim to be omniscient. Speed to market requirements demand larger marketing teams. So it all depends. However remember what a WS banker said to me: 10% of mething is better than 100% of nothing. Share your equity.
Hi Juan -
I am not sure how much cred I would give to a 'mething' WS banker ;-)
But I agree. Invariably, the most successful startups I have been involved with were not overly concerned with control or equity - hire people smarter than you, provide them good incentive comp and your pie will grow vs. those that were focused on equity . control usually wound up with 100% of and absolute control of nothing.
Related - I will ALWAYS back a startup with an 'A Team' and an product / idea that needs developing vs. a 'B Team' with even the best idea / product - The 'A-Team' will usually make the right moves where the 'B Team' most often will not.
1. Chief Officer of Giving Money to People for Whatever Reason
2. Random developer working $2 per hour
I always look at film production as an example. The better produced movies have a high caliber team of editors, director, producers, photographers, and actors, etc. Without a good team, you can't make a great film. Equally true of companies.
Thank you, I believe the technical complexity is not too high but since I'm not a tech person I need a tech manager who can find and manage a good team to keep up with the system and scalability and a business developer/finance. Basically a CTO and a CEO or CFO cofounders (just to simplify the job description in this brief comment not that the titles will mean anything at this stage).
Which brings me to the next question, which I'll post separately as well).
I do not have the necessary background to be CEO of the venture I am developing, but I have had a very good vision of where the industry is headed (with a couple of total mistakes, as full disclosure though) but I think my strategy will take us ahead of the curve quickly.
Can someone else be assigned the "CEO" role but follow some one else's lead?
How about bringing in some one from another industry who I know can do the job and will be a good partner but who is hesitant because of his lack of experience as an enterpreneur and lack of knowledge in the industry? (this is a real world example?) I have a real hustler friend, Harvard mba grad, with direct connection with companies that are obvious collaborators/potential acquirers of this, but who gets cold feet to jump in. Am I just forcing the situation? is this my subconscious coming up with a way to at least initially force my vision upon the venture? I just have a strong hunch that he is the right person for this.