Is There Only One Formula for Founding Team Success

Building the right founding team is essential to a startup’s success. Founder clashes can destroy young companies and mismatched key players can cloud a startup’s direction and stall its growth. So you know you need to hire people you mesh with, especially given the long hours you’ll all be putting in during the company’s early days. But the first question you need to ask yourself is, “What roles are you trying to put those people you work well with into?”

Salim Ismail, a contributor on, attempted to answer that question with his article, “The 4 Roles Every Founding Team Should Have.” I thought the headline was quite bold. These aren’t four roles you should consider. These aren’t four roles to have, among others. With that little word at the beginning of the headline, Salim is telling us that these are the four roles you should have if your startup’s goal is reaching exponential growth.

So of course, I had to check them out. These must-have roles are:

  1. The visionary and dreamer. Typically the core founder with the vision that leads the rest of the team.
  2. The customer champion. Someone who steps into the user experience role making sure the product is giving buyers exactly what they need and want.

  3. The innovation architect. This programming-savvy member is supposed to tie together the right technologies to build the product and keep the company on top of industry trends.
  4. The rainmaker. This is the financial and business wizard assessing the viability and profitability of the company and keeping a close eye on the burn rate.

I say this, knowing it’s not easy to assemble a team with these skills and a synergy that works with the company, but is that it? Amass this team and you’ll have startup success (assuming your product is in demand within a big market)? Is there a critical role that’s missing? I immediately identified a sales and business development hole. What do you think? Is this all you need for founding team success?

Share your crucial founding roles on Twitter using #TopOfMind.

The 4 Roles Every Founding Team Should Have

There must be diversity within the core team if your startup is seeking exponential growth. Here are the roles you should look to fill.

  1. The visionary and dreamer.
  2. The customer champion.
  3. The innovation architect
  4. The rainmaker.

Stop People from Wasting Your Time

We all spend hours answering calls and emails. It can be super difficult to get your daily to dos accomplished. Here are some tips on how to regain control of your time and schedule.

  1. State your preferred method of communication.
  2. Require an agenda for meetings.
  3. Police guests lists.
  4. Force others to prepare.

How to Survive as a Bi-Coastal Entrepreneur

It can be very tough surviving the bi-coastal life as an entrepreneur. The CEO of Boxbee, a valet storage meeting, was tasked with expanding its on-demand storage service offering city-by-city. These cities include San Francisco, New York and several others. He has learned the secret sauce behind developing seamless communication across geographies.

  1. Travel comfortably.
  2. Make yourself at home.
  3. Familiarize with your surroundings.
  4. Keep in touch.

4 ways to make your crowdfunding campaign hit $1M or more

How do you create a million dollar crowdfunding campaign?

  1. Make them fall in love. People want to invest in someone they believe in.
  2. Find the right partners.
    1. Video producers. You need a video that has a compelling story behind it.
    2. PR Campaign. About 10-20% of investors will find your campaign organically. Therefore, you need a good PR firm to help you gain exposure.
    3. Marketing Agency. You need a marketing message that keeps your campaign on target.
    4. Factor in advertising. This should be a part of your budget.
    5. Focus on long-term marketing. Test different methods to get one new customer.

This is Why People Leave Your Company

Guthrie used to run HR for Per Se (one of the hottest restaurants in NY). Now she heads up people operations for tech companies. Over the years, she has noticed that people love and hate their companies for the same reasons. The first step to retention is to understand why and how it fails. The reason you lose people is because 1) you don’t respect their time 2) employees don’t usually leave because of their boss 3) if you’re making a counter offer, you’ve probably already lost. This is how you keep people 1) Build a community with purpose 2) balance the importance of community against the personal freedom of allowing remote work 3) structure a mentorship program that people actually want 4) bringing in good HR early can make a decisive difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *