Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, who’s known as the king of hedge funds, is famous for saying, “Hire right, because the penalties of hiring wrong are huge.”
These are obvious words from a brilliant man. But the problem is, there’s no script for hiring “right” when you’re in startup mode. You have a hundred different needs but can afford only a handful of positions to do the work. So before you begin, do yourself a favor and lower your expectations. You don’t need to make many hires all at once, and you don’t have to fill hyperspecific roles in your company. Rather, you just need to find the right types of people who will best support early growth.
What are the right types? To find the answer, look at your own biggest weaknesses. Where are your blind spots? What is your Achilles’ heel, the thing that could have a crippling effect on early-stage growth? When you know the answer, you’ll know your hiring initiatives.
In my experience, startup founders tend to be weakest in storytelling, industry expertise, and product development. If that’s the case for you, you’ll want to focus on hiring at least one of the following people: a visionary to drive your marketing, an industry leader whose knowledge will help you accelerate, and a technical wunderkind who can transform your product. Don’t worry about roles and responsibilities; at this stage, you