Sink or swim? 5 men in a start-up boat

Those of you who have ever taken part in or ever considered taking part in a Seecamp or MiniSeedcamp competition have probably noticed that the organisers advise to have at least 3 and no more than 5 members in the team. Where does this magic number come from? Is 5 a meaningful number in a start-up?

5 o’Start-up

When it comes to actually thinking about these 5 ideal team members, these are the 5 magic rockstars that any web start-up should benefit from:

  • The Developer – The developer is in charge with choosing the best technology solution and framework and creating functionality for your product;
  • The Marketer – The marketer is the person in the start-up team who generates ideas, researches the market and the competitive landscape, positions the product, build prototypes and features for the product;
  • The Artist – The artist is about logo and brand identity, usability and design;
  • The System Administrator – The system administrator is in charge with web server maintenance, data backup, scalability and performance tuning;
  • The Legal Adviser -The legal adviser doesn’t need to be part of your start-up, but he surely comes in handy whenever you need to sign an NDA, prepare terms & conditions or privacy statements and he definitely is very useful when you need to sign a strategic agreement.

Tips & tricks

  • You don’t actually need 5 different persons. If 2 or 3 founders can sum up these 5 roles, with some of them playing more than one role, then there you have it;
  • One of the top things I learnt from a friend entrepreneur I adminre a lot is that you should always hire professionals that are at least as good as you are. And you should always try to hire better proffesionals. Same goes for co-founders. Starting up a business is a difficult process and you will need someone strong, someone who can find solutions and the better the two of you complete one another’s skills the closer the success;
  • These 5 persons don’t all need to be shareholders. They can also be well-motivated employees or business advisers if this model suits you best;
  • The developer and the marketer are the only 2 real necessary skills for your start-up and experts advise you that these 2 are among the founders. In other words, it is best to have a minimal team formed of one marketing expert co-founder – the CEO – and one IT expert co-founder – the CTO. Think about all the successful start-ups that started like this;
  • Whatever the skills of each team member, the most important thing is the attitude. Your partners should be the type of people that know how to get things done.

Whether you have already found your A team or whether you are still searching, I hope these guidelines will be useful for you.

Web on!

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