Building a Team

So you can't do it by yourself. That's what everyone told me getting
into this, but the last several months have cemented that. In order to
survive as a startup founder, you need to build a team. Figure out
what your skills are, and find people whose skills complement yours.
At the same time, you need a shared vision and passion. To be honest,
the idea isn't as important as a shared love for a given process

What does this mean? You need to find people who have both the right
skills and the right goals. In my case, that requires finding people
who can do the things that I can't, who are passionate about building
a company, and who are willing to stick with it no matter what. When I
talk to the founders of successful startups, I'm amazed by what they
were willing to do to succeed. Some of the stories are actually pretty
incredible (on some level, it even sounds glamorous in the aftermath,
although they were just doing what it took to scrape by). Sometimes I
wonder whether I have what it takes, but then I remember that every
path is different, and that you need to be willing to follow your own

So, to get back to the original topic, I think that there are two
major types of companies. There is the hub and spoke, where there is a
single founder, and everyone else plays a support role. Some people
manage to make this work - usually the strong personalities who always
need to be in control. The startup founder is kind of like the
dictator of a small nation or the founder of a cult. Everything goes
through him, and other people are sort of drawn to the energy that he
puts out. I don't think this is for me.

Then there is the collaborative model, where you have a couple of core
founders, each of whom has an equal (or mostly equal) stake in the
company. Decisions diffuse out of this group. Each founder has control
over a sphere of influence, and although everything is discussed among
this group, the controller of each function is responsible for the
execution and the outcome. In order for this to work, you need fairly
equal strengths, and everyone needs to be both willing to stand up to
the others and to yield when appropriate.

I'm not sure whether this post makes much sense. I'm trying to reason
some of this stuff out as I write it.