Saturday post: the importance of team in a Startup. Cofounders meeting (II)


For weekends I decided to have only one post and save some time for either sleep or some rest. How ever not to disappoint my readers I plan to write longer posts. And let myself to work without any plans so no intros with tasks to be done.

If you have`nt read the first part of how team starts forming (from my experience), please follow this link. Also  about terms: initiator(s) – a person(ppl), who came with the idea. Cofounders – first people who work on making idea come true for future shares. Some people divide shares from the start (I did that as well, this is simply stupid).

Now lets move on with people from some business area. They want to improve something in their business environment using IT. In this case again there is at least one part that understands business nature partly. By analysis of their case they see that they do lack of knowledge how to build the solution for an issue/improvement need. And here starts the hunt of people with hands. People who can deliver.

To reach the people who can build and of course, to save money Initiator starts looking from people around if there are any programmers. In case of luck – the things start rolling as in the next next paragraphs. Bet lets assume that he had no luck. Programmers rejected him or just said that they are totally happy to do what they are doing. The initiator is still enthusiastic and starts looking for new tech-cofounders (people with technological knowledge a.k.a. programmers/developers) in public space.

The initiator starts going to various events where two key words are mentioned (startups and networking, not free beer). At the events some people have balls to stand up in front and present (pitch) their idea, majority is just moving around (some stand in the corners. And they usually are developers) and sharing ideas. Mingling, looking for somebody to somebody, gets overenthusiastic when a developer is met.

So lets say Peter (initiator) and Tom (developer) have met each other  and starts negotiating. From my experience usually it looks like a communication between a politic and his potential elector. Peter starts drawing a really nice picture of the bright future, huge potential, piles of cash laying to be held in their greedy hands.

Peter, after his previous experience with recruitment fails (lets not get into rare examples where the first person met happily joins you), polish the story. The gold in his story gets brighter, because of his inexperience (or tactics)  the amount of needed development gets really small and the income for the team (from VCs, angels, whatever) is just a hand away. When asked about the plan, Peter like a magician starts pulling out plan details from his ideas hat. How ever reality shows that the plan usually is just a list of ideas. If Tom gets suspicious Peter asks him to meet again.

So lets say that the new hunting circle didn`t start yet and the Peter met Tom for the next time. Peter is still enthusiastic. He shares how awesome inputs he got from “important” people (most probably other friends who just told “Great idea” so Peter would stop disturb the beer drinking and basketball watching). And now “to close the hunting” he starts with an offer who sounds like: Tom, can you code what I want, afterwards rewrite it as market wants. And for that you will have shares. Also can you code at the evenings (I have no money to pay for your work)? And we will have a bunch of cool features (I have no idea what has No1 priority to be developed)! But what will Peter do? Well all the business, PR, investment matters.

Lets say that either Peter is really good at convincing or  this is a good case example where Peter actually did all the needed preparation from the business side. Tom will start negotiating about the amount of shares (warning, before you do something shares mean nothing). Also starts sharing on how awesome product he can make. From my bad experience if Tom did not make any progress during the first two weeks while he was able to develop (development plan/mockups are prepared) – most probably he woun`t deliver the product. How ever we are at this meeting. He is telling how soon he can finish the product. Really soon.

My smarter readers see the reason – miscommunication and lies with good intentions. How ever this programs future problems about which I`ll tell later.

Also I remind that good case scenarios I am not touching yet ;)

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