Guy Kawasaki on Startup Teams / Business Partners

Guy Kawasaki on Startup Teams / Business Partners

Posted by Megan Dorn /
Jan 22, 2008

Author, speaker and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki
knows a thing or two about putting together a killer startup team. He
is currently the managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, a
venture capital firm that invests in extraordinary tech startups. In
the 1980’s Guy worked as a marketer for Apple and was integral in
turning Macintosh customers into Mac fanatics.
He has also written eight books, the latest of which, “The Art of the Start,” is about turning ideas into action.

Guy recently answered some questions for us about how to put together a successful startup team.

Q: What sets of skills do you look for in the team members
of a startup? Should you look for people with skills the same as yours
or different?

A: Startups are pretty simple: someone has to create it, someone has
to sell it, and someone has to collect the money. So generally, a team
should have these three skills and not, for example, be all engineers,
all marketers, or all accountants.

Q: How many team members, do you feel, are needed to adequately launch a startup?

A: Two or three are sufficient. One is lonely. Four is overkill for the three main roles.

Q: What personal qualities (personality, etc.) do you look
for in startup team members? Are there any qualities that you always
try to avoid including in your team?

A: You always look for “chemistry,” but I think this is bull
shiitake. It’s funny how if a company is doing really well, all the
jerks can get along. Also, if a company is tanking, even the nice
people start getting testy. You could make the case that nice people
communicating well can make a company successful, but I think luck is
more powerful than this factor.

Continue with Q&A and other topics here  

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