January 23, 2017

[Video] What motivates an early employee to work in a startup? – Bobby’s Minute, ep. 86

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It’s easy to motivate them, but you need to be careful with what you promise.

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What motivates an early employee to work in a start-up? Well, a lot of people want to work in a decentralized environment, in a place where there are no hierarchical rules and they can move around, do a lot of things that they want to do without the micromanagement of some manager and a startup is just like that. Also, because the startup is actually a small team, a lot of people want to work in smaller team because it helps developing deeper connections between the members of the team and they actually enjoy that.

Of course, a lot of the early employees are also motivated by the share options that they get in the startup, but my experience is that especially outside of Silicon Valley, even if those share options are important, they’re not as important as other things that can be generated from the way the startups are grown.

So if you want to hire people early in a start-up, you should look for people that are motivated by not having a micromanaging boss, by having a decentralized environment where they can establish their own priorities up to a point that want to work in smaller teams and be part of the smaller entities instead of a big corporation.

Just bear in mind one thing: these first hires in a start-up are really really important and if you’re not careful about those, they can actually kill your company, so look for people that have the qualities I just mentioned. Look for people that are looking for things that you offer and be very clear when you hire someone on what you’re offering.

You don’t want any kind of fuzzy things, you don’t want people not to be sure what they’re going to get, so don’t promise what you can deliver on, don’t promise people that they’ll be with your company five years from now because you can’t be sure that you’re going to deliver on that.

The startup might not work, that specific employee might not want to work there anymore, so keep it clear, keep it simple and look for those qualities in the people you hire early in the startup.

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