Your startup is a ship. It needs a crew. Or you’re just wandering around in a boat.
Depending on your startup’s flavor, you’ll need different types of people in your team. If you startup is a tech one, running a Software-as-a-Service, here’s what you should include in your payroll:
- The owner. Yeah. That guy. He’ll need to be all-in, calling the shots, projecting his or hers vision across the vast Unknown and Uncertain.
- Designer. I tried to build something great with absolutely no design skills. And I’m not fond of what came out. Never let an engineer design something nice. It will be hideous. You need a designer for that. A good one!
- Front-end developer. These days most things regarding UX happens in the browser. And latest CSS3 / HTML5 features support you in achieving that. You only have to get the right guy for the job. He’ll “make the design happen”.
- Back-end developer. Because the thing you’re crafting actually DOES something. The back-end developer has to be someone you will trust. Because if the foundation isn’t properly laid out, that awesome productivity you have when things start to move will gradually slow down and eventually die, leaving you with a big machinery that you’ll have to maintain 99% of the time.
- Sysadmin. He’ll handle all the hosting, server configurations, domain administration and everything in between.
- Marketeer. Your “thing” is nice but do people know about it? Someone has to shout about it, write about it, come up with all the tricks in the book (and not in the book) to get your word out.
- Accountant. Just if you’re not building a NGO (Non Governmental Organization) that fights for world peace or against whales extinction. If you’ll make money, someone has to keep the books. Send in fiscal reports. Generate reports and invoices. Yep, this is the accountant. Depending on your country, this guy/gal might have more or less work to do on a monthly basis.
Of course, some of the roles can be handled by the same people, but if you want commitment and traction, I’d suggest you get dedicated people for each of the above, even if they’re working part time on your project (in the beginning).
When onboarding colleagues, make sure they’re the right people for the job. The right people usually have some things in common:
- money is not their greatest motivation;
- they’re proactive, and come with new and interesting ideas to try out;
- they don’t “hide the dirt under the cover”; if something looks wrong, they’ll shout!
- they have an entrepreneurial spirit, even if they don’t aspire to be the next Elon Musk.
You’ll need to rely on them for your startup to succeed. They will take your company to new heights or into Mariana’s Trench (worlds deepest hole).
That’s why communication and transparency is key here. Making them shine is partly the owner’s job, partly their own. You cannot directly motivate people. You can only create the framework or environment in which they can self-motivate themselves.