The People

(Photo courtesy of the super-talented Inaki Vinaixa:

This is part of my Series on Getting from Zero to One.

Amidst the "succession of firsts" we described in the last post, you sense that it's time to identify team-mates for your startup (whether they be cofounders or not). You've been looking and listening for some time and in the back of your mind you've imagined the sort of people and culture you'd like to cultivate.

And yet you've heard about the 'importance of team' so often by now that it hardly carries much meaning to you in the abstract. In event after event, panel and conference alike, you hear the tired refrain... "It's about the team"... "I only invest in people"... "I favor team over technology", etc.... but by now you think you don't really know what this means.

Actually, deep-down you do know.

  • You are looking for mission-oriented, committed and trustworthy people who can operate in massively challenging and adverse conditions. People who are tough and have no quit in them.
  • You are looking for enormously talented people with domain expertise that always look to add value first and foremost. People who disdain politics and just get things done.
  • It means finding people who are confident in themselves, with enormous energy, with huge appetites for adventure, people who move at a fast pace and never hold things up.

By laying out the affirmative qualities above there is no need anymore to say what these people 'are not'. It is obvious to you by now- you already knew.

You needn't "seek them out" in that when you meet them they will stand out from all others and you will know.

If they see the same qualities in you, you may well have a new team member.

Click here for my next post in this Series on Getting from Zero to One in your startup