What are some of the best lessons you've learned as you founded your company? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
The single most important thing I've learned is this: Your team is everything.
Your idea may change as the market changes. You can adjust your company vision or find new opportunities for your business. Your core team, however, doesn't change. It's the people you work closely with that will shape your product and your business, so the best early investment you can make is in your hiring. So how do you decide who to work with?
Here are some questions I ask myself:
- Will I enjoy working with this person? In a small team, everyone contributes to company culture. Negative energy from one team member will affect everyone else, while positive energy can uplift everyone. Decide early what kind of values you want your company to hold, and make sure every person you hire is aligned with them. For instance, at Simple Habit, we look for three things. We want to work with people who a) outperform and produce work that they are proud of b) care about what we build and people we serve c) have high integrity.
- How smart and/or experienced are they? At an early startup, you need people who learn quickly, solve problems efficiently, and are willing to wear multiple hats. As unexpected situations will come up and your needs will evolve, you'll need to rely on your team members to adapt to whatever the company needs.
- What motivates them? It's crucial that your early hires are aligned with your mission and motivated by the problem your company is trying to solve. How much do they care? At Simple Habit, we all use the products we create and are passionate about helping people improve their lives through mindfulness-- and that inspires us every day to create the best user experience.
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