Mad startup operating skills

In startups, operating discipline is a muscle but versatility is a skill.

There is a type of person that is built for early stage and growth stage startups. The problem is that it’s hard to define the skills they bring on paper. Even experience is sometimes misleading.

The culmination of all the years, all the ups, downs, successes, failures, scars, product releases, investments won/lost, exits, bankruptcies, hirings, firings, egos, doubt, fear and bravado creates the perfect startup operator.

There is no book that teaches someone how to operate in this environment — one that is like the first day on Mars on repeat. For most, it is overwhelming at the best of times and paralyzing all the other times.

Finding someone that can avoid all the early stage mistakes that waste time and money and effort is an accelerator. That person can see the path that inexperienced or first-time operators will miss. Startups need to cut across instead of going around. Decisions, directions and outcomes are the life source at this stage and the lack of knowledge stalls each.

The skill to fill has nothing to do with book or paper smarts. It is the skill of being a multiplier. A person that brings to bear their culmination of startup operating experience with immediate impact is the secret sauce to startup success.

Any and all advantages are lost by wasting time. Unfortunately that’s what most early stage companies do by not focusing on finding someone with the right skills.