Hiring the MVPs: Why Your Startup Team is Your Most Important Asset

Eureka - you've got it, the perfect startup idea. You're going to change the world, shake things up, be the next Facebook (or Airbnb or Uber). But will it be a dream come true? Only if you have the right team to support you.

From one fireside chat guest to the next, we always hear that it's not the idea or product that investors are backing, but the team - the people are the most important factor to whom a venture capitalist is entrusting his or her cash. Sound counter-intuitive? Let's explain.

How to Fill Up Your Startup Office Team

Fresh ideas and unique business models are what drive growth in our economy. New perspectives and creativity are what make the world evolve into bigger and better things -  literally changing lives and influencing future generations. But regardless of the idea, it'll always come down to the people running the company - a strong, persistent team must be behind anything that goes live and grows.

Many times I've heard investors say that they like the concept of the company but they'll "need to replace the CEO" or the CTO or another team member in order to make the investment less risky. So what are the key things you should be thinking about when you're creating your team?

Vision: The most important thing you need from your team is alignment with your vision. Especially at the executive level, it is crucial that you're all seeing the same vision for the company, its position in the market and its growth.

Balance: You want to make sure your team is balanced with regards to your individual personalities and skill sets. Some of us are natural visionaries and strategists, others are excellent communicators or great organizers. When it comes to skills, make sure there's someone who can handle the key areas that are important to your business such as operations, finance, sales, marketing, product development, customer service or technology. 

Challenge Each Other: The best teams are open and transparent each other. They aren't afraid to push each other's buttons and encourage individual growth.  

Strong Leadership: Whether you have one top decision-maker or are sharing that responsibility among your executive members, make sure you can make decisions. I know that may sound obvious but too many organizations halt and can't move forward because they are stuck and cannot decide on strategies and the direction that need to be taken. If you are dilly-dallying, you will not get anywhere.  

History of Execution: We haven't all exited successful businesses so I'm not suggesting here that you won't succeed if haven't run a startup before. But, it IS important to know that the team you're assembling can execute and get the job done. Consider a potential team member's background. What projects have they worked on? Previous jobs? Volunteer roles? Education?  Knowing that this team member can get things done is key in knowing that you can depend on him when you need to.

Passion: You're the one with the idea, the vision and the drive to make your idea grow into something beautiful. But if you're team doesn't share that same passion, I'm sorry but you will have a hard time getting anywhere. Having an obsessiveness about all areas of the business - no matter what part of the business you're working on is the mark of a person with great passion.  

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