Every team member’s knowledge and experience will play a big role in your startup’s successes and … [+]
Regardless of project scope or budget, every team member’s knowledge and experience will play a big role in your startup’s successes and failures. The truth is, not every position, role, or task requires the very best to achieve the best results.
A smart entrepreneur knows how to assign the right position to team members that best fit. This hiring skill plays a big role in your ability to minimize and optimize costs while increasing your chances of startup success. Answer these three questions to make informed and confident hiring decisions.
1. How Experienced Are You?
Think about experienced candidates as advisors and consultants. Not only are they more efficient at their job, but also can help you make the right decisions and guide you throughout the way.
In other words, if you are entering a new space or need to hire for a position that does not fall under your area of expertise, what you need is someone who will not only get the job done but also tell you what job needs to be done.
Small mistakes can add up very quickly and amount to large sums of money. It’s important to value the extra cost of hiring experienced team members from the perspective of the cost savings realized from a clearer plan and execution.
Nonetheless, if you are hiring for a role you are experienced in where hires can follow your leadership, less experienced candidates can be the right fit for the job if you are looking to minimize overhead expenses.
2. Are You Building Or Testing?
A successful technology startup is a company that has validated a business model that solves a problem for customers who find value in the solution. Validation happens through testing and experimentation. In the early stages of a startup, entrepreneurs typically choose to follow one of two or a combination of these strategies to run their tests.
The first idea validation approach entails combining easily customizable and editable tools with manual work in order to create a solution that simply gets the job done. For example, you could create an app prototype and a website landing page quickly and easily using some of today’s many powerful no-code tools.
While an experienced team member will help you design and run your validation tests and experiments in a way that can allow you to gain the insights you need to move your startup forward, you don’t necessarily need an experienced person to build a simple prototype. This is a scenario where investment in a mentor can help you fill the experience gap, especially if you want to save the cost of hiring experienced candidates to do the job.
In fact, depending on the idea, industry and business model, this can be a wise early-stage execution strategy that can allow you to minimize initial investment until you test and validate your app idea.
A prototype doesn’t have to look good and work great as long as it solves the problem and gathers customer insights. Many entrepreneurs choose to skip the prototype launch stage and instead create a solid product hoping that it is a valid and viable solution. In other words, the entrepreneur bets that customers need the product, therefore, there is no need for a prototype.
In this case, depending on product complexity, while an inexperienced but committed team can successfully launch a functional product, entrepreneurs must pay close attention to how the product is built. Beware of technical debt.
It has become easier than ever to build software nowadays. In simple terms, technical debt is the cost incurred from choosing to take development shortcuts instead of building on a strong technical foundation. It may seem that you are saving a lot of development money today, but in reality, the charges are adding up for when you need to rebuild for scale.
3. How Complex Is Your Product?
Imaging approaching enterprise leads with a mediocre finance or healthcare-based platform. Imagine trying to sell a buggy financial app that anyone can hack in a matter of minutes. Some products require a high level of expertise and specialization that cannot be compromised.
In conclusion, experience will always beat incompetence as it will give you peace of mind no matter your startup stage. However, based on your strengths, weaknesses, idea, and product complexity, there is a time in the earliest stages of a startup when inexperienced team members can help you test your ideas.
DoorDash, Groupon, Zappos and Dropbox faked it until they made it. They all started by running validation tests and experiments even before building the first version of their product. However, when it was time to build a solid solution, they built it on strong foundations with a talented team.