Useful well-written post!
BTW you still have not added the "remember my info" functionality to the comments section of Onstartups and Small Business 2.0. It's a waste of time to have to re-enter the info each time a comment is posted.
Sorry Kirsten...I'll give him back after our IPO. ( - :
Finding entrepreneurial employees/partners is one of the hardest things I have faced since setting up ebdex. Perhaps one of the mistakes I am making is not treating the positions as co-founding roles (well we are two years old now). Wonder what impact it would have if I advertise the positions as "looking for co-founders"?
How to find a good partner if my circle is limited?
My work agreement has a clause about not hiring away any coworkers and I am long out of school so how to find good parteners?
2. Agree, and on top of that, remember to have a heart-to-heart talk with your co-founder on what he/she expects for his/her (usually significant) effort for a startup. You'll want to have a willing co-founder to enjoy the fruits of your labor, not litigation.
4. Somewhat disagree. Anecdotal observation from my personal experience is tread carefully. A good/well-intentioned "A" people who performed superbly in one company may be a "D" for startups. Dynamics is different. I'd suggest choosing someone who's had experience with startup, failing which at least with operational experience.
5. Agree. Sometimes the problem is not the significant other (SO) but ourselves. I'm fortunate that my SO is supportive, but I've seen marriages fall apart. Guess the core question is this, "is your SO someone who'll endure the bad times and enjoy the good times, or is your SO someone who'll bail once the good times are over?"
6. Agree. The only time title matters is when you're presenting to clients who need assurances you can make the decision on behalf of your startup and get things done.
8. Agree. Test your ideas, seek constructive criticisms. If you can't convince someone to be your co-founder, what chance do you have of convincing a prospective client?
Elisha K., hiring co-workers may not be the best idea — non-compete clauses notwithstanding. Proactively network within the industry you're in, join relevant associations/organizations/forums.
This is all fascinating stuff. My early experiences of start-up confirm the need for complementary partners and a clear agreement re equity etc.
I also see the need to create a balanced team in terms of preferred ways of working. My experience suggests that many start up entrepreneurs are full of energy, but not that interested in finishing stuff off. One of the hardest things to do, if you want to be successful, is to spend time doing things that don't come naturally to you.
What you also don't want is someone who either has:
a) Too big a loan on her house for a committment you need
b) Too much family money to manage. Note that I don't mean "comes from a rich family". I mean managing a huge amount of family money (like big chunks of real estate, stock, cash etc.). If you have a co-founder like that, you need to talk about how the committment mix will happen. You can find professional money managers, but that choice needs to be made early on.
Also, decide who's driving the company, and make sure everybodys stock options vest over a period.
This is was great post as alot of this I going through as we speek. All grads now my former college buds and I are starting up a new company. Two of us had a semi successful startup during college so that helps our team. We started with us two. We then approached others to join. I think that because of our prior success people took us more seriously.We were able to convice two others to join our startup team so far. I doubt we will have any problems to convince further employees and hopefully angels and clients.
I could really care less what my title is...but the equity is something to talk about right away. All of us have different styles of working but they are complementary for the most part. And we have the person on the team that get things done no matter what.
Everyone has to be willing to reach beyond their area of focus to lend a helping hand. This post help me to step outside to see our team from someone elses approach thanks. Wish us luck.
Grow with music
Hey. I just came across http://shrey-knows.blogspot.com/2009/04/twos-company.html
and was immediately reminded of your blog. You could also get hold of the article at http://www.scribd.com/doc/14414340/Entrepreneur-170409 which is titled "Twos Company". The author of this article seems to have blatantly copied from two of your posts.
I just thought you might have wanted to know. Keep up with the good articles :)