Many business schools tell us that having a balanced mix of professional profiles in a startup team is key to maximize your chances of success.
This is true. However, you need to know what skills does your startup need in order to validate a value proposition. Since starting up nowadays involves development of some kind, a CTO is key.
You also need to know how you will sell your product…
Sayings such as “my product/service is so good that it will sell by itself” are the first indicator that you don’t know how to sell. No sales, no business. That’s why the other key figure is someone who can sell to the client, someone who gets people to your site and understands how to drive them towards the cart checkout. I am talking about the CMO or the Growth Hacker,depending on the business.
So far you can make things and sell them, but the third key role in a startup is the BUSINESS one. This figure tends to be the leader, the one with the vision, the one who has a clear idea on how to turn the concept into a profitable enterprise, the one who can manage all the resources (specially the time) and make things happen.
Is this business entrepreneur the finance person? Not necessarily. It always comes in handy to have someone who can deal with reports, taxes, banking and other administrative stuff, because these are things that assure the survival of a business that sells. Again, no sales, no business. A startup needs to find at least one revenue source with a lifetime value higher than the acquisition costs, with enough market size and market share.
Finance person, do you need one?
When a startup has validated its business model and can then start to think like a company, is in this moment when it is key to have a finance person: someone who can deal with the administrative tasks, give business performance visibility to managers and provide trustability to shareholders.Nowadays, finding a qualified person for this tasks is not as hard as looking after the three entrepreneurial types mentioned above: the CTO, the CMO / Growth Hacker and the Business/Product oriented person.
Therefore, a CFO is not essential on the first stages of a startup, although it may be convenient, of course.
In this post, I have indirectly stated that the ideal number of entrepreneurs is three. They also need to complement one another, not clones with repeated profiles. Why three?
To avoid ties in decision making.
To offer different points of view.
It allows entrepreneurs to meet and work easily with each other.
Entrepreneurs can keep a big stake in the business, so that they really feel owners.
Startups need entrepreneurs rather than employees to be able to go the extra mile.
Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to.
« Masters of Scale »
with Reid Hoffman
The host:Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host.
About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.
with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu
The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress.
About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it. No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed.
The host:Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival.
About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.
The host:Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode.
About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg.
Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn
« K Fund PodKast »
with Jaime Novoa
The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter.
About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast.
Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud
« Clockwise »
with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent
The hosts:Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv.
About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts.
The host:Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast.
About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).
You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday.
Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.