In continuation of our theme this month on Becoming an Entrepreneur, this week we explore Building Core Teams for the Entrepreneur.
Building your core team is super important especially at the early stages of your startup.
In the early stages of your startup, your core team are your co-founders.
Who should your co-founders be? and how should you go about finding them? Should you even have a coFounder at all?
This is likely one of the most important questions of your startup journey. And how you address it, can be the difference between success and failure and even how fast you get to success.
In today’s startup world, startups with cofounders tend to raise funding at 2x the rate of solo founders. Just because investors prefer the coFounder model. It is the general belief that if you can build a team around your idea then you have the charisma to sell to customers, investors and build the alliances required to scale a successful company. Personally, I think there is some measure of truth to this perspective but then there are many founders who will do just as well as solo founders just by force of their personality and their own personal leadership. Some very successful solo founders include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Most successful solo founders usually build a great management team very early on.
The idea around cofounders really is finding complimentary skills and passion engaged into your project early on in exchange for equity. Since early on, startups need to use the cash they have to drive product development and business growth, you are expected to have coFounders who in lieu of salaries will give their time and skills without expecting a salary and receiving only equity.
The subjective qualities are the most important in choosing your coFounders. You need to find those who are as passionate as you about what you are trying to solve, who believe in your vision, whose outlook on life align with yours and who are able to stay loyal to you. The objective qualities such as related experience and skillset come second. This is because you can always buy the latter. But the former is a multiplier that no amount of compensation can pay for.
In terms of task distribution, it is important that you have one coFounder who is the technical person while the others manage operations/finance and or marketing.
Increasingly racial and gender diversity is becoming important in building your coFounder team and you will do well to not overlook this.
Finding the right coFounder team or management team if you are solo will fast track the success of your startup and you need to pay utmost attention to how you find , build and manage your founding team.