If the title led you to think that his post has all the answers about how to create the best team for your startup, then, sorry to disappoint you, this will probably create more doubts and not the opposite. Cleared this up, this is an essay explaining my way to face this subject.
After having interacted with literally, hundreds of startups, I came with the conclusion that there are two essential facts to have in mind: (i) why not start alone and (ii) how to balance profiles inside a team.
Why not start alone
In NXTP Labs, we took the decision to not invest in startups with only one founder. It is really hard to success with a startup (odds are definitely against you) to add an extra factor and try it alone. Beyond the needs of technical capacities and complementary personalities, i think the key of being more than one in the initial team is to balance the emotional weight of the startup construction.
Start is like climb into a roller coaster, the highs and lows are strong and normally unexpected. Even for the good news side, like the first clients or rising the capital, share and party with your partners is healthy. Not even mention when it is less hard (never easy) to overcome the challenging times that surely will be many and frequently.
How to balance profiles within a team
The key is to understand that successful teams can be composed by complementary profiles but, not similar. In the case of Technological startups, the most diffused model and easy to understand is the team with:
- Developer (technical profile)
- Designer (creative profile)
- Marketing/sales (business model / commercial profile)
A lot has been written about this combination, Dave McClure from 500 Startups proposed a good approach. I’m personally inclined for the model proposed by Bill Gross, founder of IdeaLab, a factory of ideas and startups, which has generated more than 120 startups, some with IPO (more than 30).
The model focuses in types of personalities, not technical capacities.
- Entrepreneur (visionary, dreamer)
- Producer (executor, who makes things happen)
- Administrator (organizer)
- Integrator (focused in people and relations)
These four profiles not imply that the team needs to have exactly four founders. One person can represent more than one profile, and that is normal. The important thing is to recognize the needs and personalities inside the team and strengthen whatever it takes. In these days, it is almost a cliche that the most important thing for a startup is the team and i agree entirely. I hope this post help you to think in gather a good team and not only a bunch of friends with good intentions.This post was originally published in LatAm.VC