As ubiquitous as it is, it is widely recognised that the team behind any project is far more important than the project itself. The same goes for any start-up or company. But the crux lies in – how? How do we build the best team we need, one that can synthesise synergy and propel us to greater heights?
In this article, we will reference the advice of Steve Blank on ‘How to find the right Co-founders’ for greater understanding.
The purpose of having complementary skill sets is to generate value for the company. Therefore, this depends highly on the activities that the company is set out to accomplish. In other words, ‘activities’ is where you define the most important things your company must do to make your business work. It is the unique expertise your company needs to deliver.
For example, if you are building an app, your key activities include app software development, user interface design and demand creation skills. To accomplish this, the question to ask is ‘What resources do I need to make the activities happen?’ Human resources, in this case, could be a developer (The Hacker), a user interface designer, and someone to lead the team, create customer demand and raise capital. (The Hustler)
Blank also postulates another example. In medical device start-ups, these resources are expertise in the basic science, industrial design, human factors, managing Contract Research Organizations, reimbursement, Intellectual Property, and someone to lead the team and raise capital and establish strategic partnerships. Therefore, the ideal medical device team might be a physician; engineer; operator; business development/financial analyst.
Now that you have understand the work you need to do and the skills you need to accomplish them, you can now cross-refer to see if anyone on the team has the necessary skills. If not, are we able to outsource these skills to our partners?
In a Nutshell
• Figuring out the right founding team starts with listing the critical activities to make the startup successful in the first year or so.
• Next, what human resources are necessary to make those activities happen?
• Can these skills be outsourced to partners or are they integral to the DNA of the company?
• If they’re integral to the company’s success, they should be part of the founding team.
“Great people find great people.”
— Swedish App Scene (@sweappscene) January 15, 2018
How do we find the right great people then? There are many tools today available online to reach out to the various members. Check out this resource article from Evergreen that explained how to find the team.