Innovation 101 Ep 3: Building your teamOn August 13, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Getting your idea to market, involves some heavy lifting, and you just can’t do it on your own. Most of the time, you need to build a team to help you. So, why should you care about your team? Well, when failed starter founder are asked why they think their business failed, one of the main reasons they give is that they just didn’t have the right team to execute. So, it’s obviously something really important to get right. An innovative social change project, will require different skills to a purely technical project. Where does your innovation sit? And who will you choose to help you? In terms of where you find your team, you just need to network. So, this can involve asking people you already know, friends, family members, other university students, if they might be interested. Also, asking those people if they might know other people who could be a good fit for what you’re trying to do. And there are also events that you can attend, like the innovation events that are held here at UNSW. Where you can just meet lie minded people who are interested in the same sort of things you are, and ultimately might be interested in joining you on your quest for world domination. When you”re looking for the right people, you need to find people with complementary strengths. If you’re a very high level creative person, you need to find somebody that’s more detailed oriented and really practical. If you’re a very technical person, that doesn’t really like talking to people, you need to find someone that does like talking to people, and hopefully is good at selling. You also want to find somebody that shares similar values. You need to find alignment on things like ethics, long term vision for the company, approaches to spending, work life balance, communication, all these sorts of things. Because if you don’t, down the line you’re going to have all sorts of issues and problems. Next, you want to find people who are doers and not just talkers. Entrepreneurship is very sexy right now, there’s a lot of so called ‘entrepreneurs’ out there, that love talking about the idea of build a business, but when the rubber hits the road, they’re not good for much else. So, find someone that likes hard work. And last but not least, make sure you like the people in your team. Building a business is really hard, and you spend hours and hours and hours with the same people every week. It’s important that you communicate well, and get on well. Because when you inevitably face setbacks and challenges, it just makes life so much easier. Here’s a way to easily figure out who needs to be in your company from the word go. So, I use the three H’s. Hacker, hipster and hustler. A hacker is someone who is super good at coding, an engineer, and can really get the technical side of your business down 100%. A hipster is someone that makes everything in your start up look fantastic when you pitch it, all your graphics are great and they’re usually that latte sipping, mac book pro owing sort of person. Then you’ve got the hustler. Usually the CEO of the company, and one of the founders, that gets up on stage, pitches the idea, has all the tea and coffee meetings and gets money in the door. That is a very important part of every start up. Next time, prototyping, or getting your idea into a presentable shape. Don’t forget to comment and tell us what you think.