Who a startup hires after its initial founders says a lot about the company and its future. While the initial founders of a company are generally very impressive, the next few hires are the critical people that make good ideas become great ideas.
Why Next Hires Are Important
• They lend credibility to the vision
Rockstar subsequent hires help validate an idea. Just like there is no movement without a first follower, there is no great company if rockstars can’t be convinced to join the cause.
• They make it easier to raise funding
Because next hires add credibility to a company’s mission, they make it easier to attract and raise funding. In turn, this puts the company one step closer to realizing their vision. When I personally decide whether or not to invest in a company, my investment criteria is simple: if this were my company, would I hire the same people? If yes, I invest. If no, I flee.
• They set the direction of the company’s trajectory
Are the initial hires well-known big shots? That usually means the company is setting itself up for a sale and looking to make a big PR splash and flip. Paradoxically, if they are recruiting the best talent right out of university, that might mean they are looking to build a more lasting company to attempt to take over the world.
• They set the tone of upcoming hires and attract more talent
The saying that people are the most important assets of any company is especially true for startups –beyond the talent, there isn’t much else. That’s why next high profile next hires are so critical. They not only raise the bar of future hires, they also attract more rockstars. And together, these people determine the fledgling company’s ability to innovate, navigate roadblocks, seize opportunities, and grow.