You are a team not a family

To build a startup has no equal when it comes to pressure, strategy, proper execution and hiring (not recruiting — hiring). There simply isn’t a similar experience anywhere.

After product market fit, hiring is the next most important thing to get right because the first hires will always be unique in the history of the company. They will be asked to do things they are uncomfortable doing, they will be stretched to their stress limits, they will have to work with speed and ambiguity and do it all for the potential of a hefty upside while taking home very little actual pay.

The tendency is to paint a picture of a family coming together. The trenches have a way of seemingly creating this familial bond amongst the early team. I look at the first group of misfits at this stage as a team and here’s why:

– YOU choose the team.
– The team has specific skills your company needs.
– You may have to let someone from your team go.
– Your team is aligned with the goals of the company.
– Your team will weed out the weak links.

To go into the startup arena hardens the entire team — it creates a bond that is special in business. The sense of accomplishment and triumph pulls people together. This is part of the startup culture, the team grows together. It breaks down when the company succeeds and that familial bond can’t stretch to new team members. This ends up holding people back and causing stress on them and the company.

Most people don’t switch families every 2 years but it is common for teams to shift as people outgrow the company or gain new skills. As founders and operators our goal is always to find the right combination of people to move everything forward — imagine having that conversation with your family…