Startup Principles : Do You Have A Rockstar Team?

Every Thursday is an opportunity for me to meet budding entrepreneurs and startups at one of the most happening co-working spaces in Chicago, 1871  . After having met several teams and heard lots of pitches, there are three key things that I find are common amidst rockstar teams.

Align talent with roles

This might sound easy but, in reality, the biggest organizations fail at channeling the skills of their employees in the right direction. Often, the extroverts end up in a cubicle and the introverts are pushed to managerial positions. If you are good at something, make sure that your team is aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

Embrace the fact that as a startup, your strength lies in your team and your team cannot function unless the right people are executing in each role.

When I met Sparkreel , its co-founder was open to me about his business development skills. He let me know that he wasn’t the ‘technical’ guy but, would love to learn about how Microsoft can help them. Having these open and honest conversations with your team and partners upfront can save a lot of overhead in the long term.

Have a close knit team with a few members

The number of people on your team can help expedite or slow down decisions. Especially when you’re an early-stage startup and exploring ideas, too many opinions may simply stall progress. The goal is to fail fast and be iterative. Vision, product management, technical mindset, people management, business and process development are important skills. This could mean having two or three people with the right combination of these diverse skills.

A homogeneous team, no control on product development and too many big guns may be the perfect trap for failure as a team.

The folks over at seem to have the perfect balance of a serial entrepreneur combined with a technical mindset, helping them build fast and target their market effectively.

Mentors & advisors

The best way to learn is through experiences and mistakes that others have made. This saves times and energy especially when you’re early to the game and inexperienced. I won’t get too much into this one. Suffice to say that with any new venture in life, having a mentor to guide you through is always helpful.

Chicago based startup, Adyapper has a great set of advisors giving the team constant feedback and helping it grow.

Enjoy the process of team-building and meeting wonderful people. It’s all about connecting and finding those sparks that will ignite the next big idea across brilliant minds!

This post is part of my blog posts at Inc-Well NBC Chicago

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