Thursday, September 07, 2006

Starting Findory: The team

Building a strong team around a startup is important. No doubt about it, I was slow to build a team for Findory.

Findory was started with a very modest amount of capital, probably too small. The on the cheap strategy meant Findory could not pay salaries or benefits. That made hiring and building a team difficult.

I did not want to bring people on part-time who were not dedicated to success of company, but I could not offer what people need -- at least a modest salary -- to come on full time.

In retrospect, I should have increased the initial capital invested, paid small salaries, and brought more people on the team. I was too concerned about the burn rate and not concerned enough about getting the right people on board quickly.

I also should have brought on advisors and formed an advisory board. The assistance and connections would have been valuable. Worries about loss of independence and dilution of ownership should have taken a back seat to getting the advice I needed.

Finally, I should have brought an angel on the team. As I learned with our lawyers, the advice and network I would have gained from a dedicated angel would have been as valuable as the funding. A modest amount of additional funding also would have been sufficient to pay 1/3 salaries to a couple employees, easing the build out of the critical early team.

It is ironic. I started Findory because I was passionate about an idea and loved the speed of execution I gained from my independence. In my excitement, I forgot the importance of sharing that passion with others and depending on their advice.

See also the other posts in the Starting Findory series.

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