I worked extra hard with A.C. today, answering questions from potential investors, advancing company strategy, quantifying the option pool, valuing the seed round and tons more. We especially discussed candidates for the core team. The list is growing. I'll be seeing a guy here in Carmel Saturday and A.C. will be talking with others daily next week while I am at Cornell teaching. The people side of the business formation is so important at this stage that it is my top priority.
What we are looking for are people with startup intuition. It is that elusive ability to sense what needs to be done, when and how. Part of it is from learned experience. These people have done real startups before. It is not gut feel. It is not an emotion. It is intuition. The other part it is a sense of direction for what could be done with an idea for a great new business. People with the intuition startups need are automatically conversational with your business idea. "Cool" and "Yeah" are often spoken as you discuss the potential with them. The techies can roll out a description of what they would do next to build the thing. Biz dev people jump to the potential customers, what is compelling to them and how they would reach them. CEOs talk like one of the boys, able to converse with the founders and techies and biz dev people, able to discern, understand and invent. Such talented people are not mechanics, asking generic questions and analyzing in standard ways. Classic MBAs do that, and do it well. As do large public company managers. I know, I was one. But that is not intuitive startup thinking. The people to look for slide into your thinking like a hand in a glove. They do it like real startup people do it. They use intuition and they get it right, right away.
BOTTOM LINE: I do a lot of quantitative work with my startups and believe everyone should do more with numbers for startups. But I also am a firm believer in startup intuition. I think that produces the best momentum, quickly, for a new enterprise. Look for it in your early hires. You won't regret it.