Rule for a Successful Startup: Hire the Right People

| April 1, 2016 | 0 Comments

senior businessMany startups fail and die because they underestimate the importance of hiring the right people. Finding the right talent is extremely critical to the success of a new venture; in fact, many experts and successful entrepreneurs attribute their success to hiring the right people for their startups.

From the eBook “Startup Best Practices from 15 Serial Entrepreneurs”. here are what successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs say about why it is of paramount importance to hire the right people for your startup:

Be Extremely Careful in Hiring Your First People

“If you’re the founder and you’re thinking about founding a company, be extremely careful about the first people you hire. The tendency is you want to get some energy and momentum around your company. The temptation might be to pull in people that you know, but those may not be the best people.

So be very careful how you bring in those first people because the first people in the company set the stage for the rest of the business, and you will either grow based on the culture of that first set of people or you will be forever trying to recover and change from that first culture that is set by a group of people who come in the door. So be very careful about who you bring in and have some long, and not rushed, conversations about what makes you each tick as people, what do you want out of this experience together, and how will you work because it’s all about the team.

Eileen Gittins, Founder and Executive Chairman at Blurb

A photo posted by PowerHomeBiz (@powerhomebiz) on

Nothing Works if You Don’t have a Great Team

“It is very important to get the brightest and the best people. That’s hard. Some people say a CEO should spend 40 percent of his time focused on getting new talent. I probably don’t spend that amount of time but it’s extremely important to get the very best and when you do find the best, it’s important to invest in that person and make him as good as he can become because a mediocre person just destroys you in a small company. You have to get the best person and often that means paying the price necessary to get them on board. If you don’t have a great team, nothing works.

Jans Aasman, CEO of Franz Inc.

Good vs. Great People

“Appreciate the difference between good and great people. Great people are not two times better than good people; they are ten times better. The cost of a great person is only 20 percent more than that of a good person. So attract great people and don’t compromise…. If you compromise you will end up with a bunch of B-players, which will attract C-players. The A-players won’t join once they see it’s a B-player only company and you will quickly end up with a mediocre organization. So, painful as it sounds, the first 10 hires are critical. Go for great people because they will do amazing things.”

Naeem Zafar, Co-founder and CEO of Telesense

Employee Mindset vs. Owner Mindset

“I think there are two kinds of people: those who have an employee mindset and those who have an owner mindset. It’s very important that the first 10 hires you make consist of people who have an owner’s mindset and not an employee’s mindset.

Employee mindset is one of entitlement. Questions like, “How many holidays do I have; what are my medical benefits; what kind of car will I get?” An owner mindset never asks such questions. So the rule of thumb i use is that if people ask a lot of entitlement-type questions, then they are the wrong choice for a startup. When the time comes that you need over 100 people, then yes, you will need those employee mindsets, but the first 10-15 people should have an owner’s mindset; this is my company and I will do whatever it takes.”

Naeem Zafar, Co-founder and CEO of Telesense

Don’t be Afraid to Pay More

“Surround yourself with good people. Don’t be afraid to pay somebody more money than yourself if he has the skills better than yours in certain areas.

Peter Laanen, Founder of Laanen – The Brand

Work with People You Like

“You should only work with people that you really, really like. Others say not to hire your friends, but we totally disagree with that. Work with people you know, trust and respect, and who really share your passion for entrepreneurship. You can hire the most qualified people but if you don’t share your beliefs and ambition to make it to the end of the tunnel, it’s not going to work.”

Idarose Sylvester and Jan Grotenbreg, Co-founders of Silicon Valley Link

Category: Starting a Business

About the Author ()

Isabel Isidro is the Managing Editor and Co-Founder of Her goal is to help small businesses do big business. Visit her at Small and Home Business Blog, Women Home Business, and Learning from Big Boys

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *