Writing about startup teams, and looking for some quotes on how long it took people to create their startup team. (Problems, tips, things you'd do differently, key learnings etc)

Looking for "at least" 5 quotes from different people.

Please let me know what your postion is (ex. Founder of ) and what's your website URL so I can link it to you :)


Hey Luke!

Josh, Founder and CEO of Knackmap.

I am a non-tech founder, meaning that in order to build our SaaS tool, which involved integrations with large social platforms, developers were needed.

I did not seek co-founders, I did not seek someone to build for me for a share in the company. I first looked to validate the idea, research the landscape, the product offerings out there and feedback from the ideal audience.

I then looked to gather my thoughts on the site architecture, core features and so on, before progressing through to the design stage, where I created a walkthrough structure to the site which I could then take to users who might be interested to get their feedback, ask if this was still interesting and so on.

Finally, I started to bootstrap the initial designs from here and paid someone to start working on it.

Honestly, I found it pretty hard to find a technical team. There is so many options out there, and so you can be paying heaps through an agency, use a one-man-band and end up being unhappy that they can't come for the right, or be stuck with a technical co-founder who demands a stake in the business but can't actually deliver themselves on the development requirements, meaning you are stuck needing money to build in the end anyway. I know many people have a lot of luck finding a good technical co-founder, I however didn't.

Instead, over time as I was building the base line product, we made a couple of team changes, then some refinements, and over time as we've grown our user base and raised some capital have been able to over time put together a paid team who aren't co-founders, but are on the journey with us and are capable at helping us deliver.

Honestly it can feel like you need to make things move fast at the start. We now have over 200 paying customers, but on our tech roadmap there is a LONG way to go. Whilst it was frustrating making the mistakes putting the team together, I learnt a lot from the process and wouldn't have the team I have now if it wasn't for that process. Also, everyone makes mistakes along the way - it's part of the journey.

My takeaway, take your time on it and don't give away equity in the company to the first person to put their hand up to help you. If you're gonna be working on this for 5 - 10 years, you want to make sure that you have the RIGHT people around you, not just people.

Hey Luke,

It wasn't easy when I started https://www.caternow.com.au - Australia's Catering Marketplace, all alone. Then I realized that if I want to grow then I need a team so I started looking for part-time staff but that wasn't enough so I had to look for a co-founder.

It took great 6 months to find my co-founder (Murray Raeburn) but StartupVIC made it easy. Initially, I was looking everywhere on Gust, Linkedin and it did not help much.

The best part of StartupVIC is that you can advertise a job/co-founder opportunity in their newsletter without paying a cent. The newsletter is seen by thousands of people in startup community from founders, people looking for job to investors etc. It will work so give it a go.

After that, co-founder managed to get us featured on StartupVIC's weekly newsletter and we got good PR and word spread about Caternow.

I know it may be challenging to find right people who can believe in your idea and accept the mission but you get to try everything you could to get going with limited resources and funds.

Cheers, Divyesh

For WealthNation it was a matter of a number of unrelated circumstances all coming together at the right place and the right time.

I met my now co-founder, Tony Zakula, when I was working at Deasil (Melbourne based Family Office) and was leading a commercial deal for a company they were backing - Locomote (now Travelport Locomote). At the time Tony was the CTO & CFO of Silicon Valley based company Expensify. Tony was running the deal from their side of the table. Deal aside, we struck up a relationship that was underpinned by a shared set of business and personal values.

I'd had a bad personal experience with the financial planning industry when I was working for one of the Big 4. That experience lit and fuelled a fire in me that ultimately resulted in the conception of WealthNation. I was approached by someone who asked if I was aware of the growing robo advice market in the US. I wasn't really across it but when I looked into I immediately saw an opportunity to take on the industry that cost me. I just needed a world class tech-co-founder to bring it to life.

A call to Tony solved that pretty quickly. He was keen and away we went. And although we moved away from the robo advice model pretty quickly, it was that combination of personal experience, different but complimentary capabilities and timing that resulting in the founding of WealthNation.

All up, from the first discussion about the opportunity to formally agreeing on how we'd structure the founders deal, it took about 2 months.

Afternoon Luke,

James Timothy White, Founder, CEO and Investor in WeSaySold.com, DrugTestingCourses.com, and 01001010 Biometrics Inc, among others.

The main problem is talent. Most people don't care about you, your product, or your idea. They care about one thing, themselves. So make it about them! As I always say, "Find them young, divorced or lonely, pay them more than they are worth. By them, I mean professionals and employees. The more you pay them the more they spend, feel valued, or become attached to your business, which means they will care about keeping your business in business."

Here are my three tips:

#1: Always sign the checks. This will not only keep you in the know about expenses but will also protect you from professional takers.

#2: ALWAYS make sure to pay the insurance policy yourself! In my case, it was my long-time accountant and CFO who would end up embezzling millions of dollars from the start-up, as a result causing so much damage that the business went out of business. The worst part was he didn't pay the employee dishonesty insurance policy we had -- go figure!

#3: Protect the money. Money solves all problems, eventually.

The one thing I would do differently in a start-up is to spend the time planning, implementing controls and procedures.

From the conception in summer of 1994 to deal with the realities of the 1989 economic downturn to finding a start-up team of 16 students, unemployed , several local inventors, small business operators in the spring of 1995 to incorporating as the first working social enterprise in 1996. To help test various new approach to supporting change. That lasted from 1995 to 2010 and now restructuring. As 80% of what was tested and introduced in 2002 is now in the global market and growing. The last 20% was a sustainability investment system/software. Seen as too innovative in 2002 to be supported by 20th-century thinking leadership, but did require some of the key player's involvement on how to get the Global community ready for a more sustainable approach and not do more damage than good. Does require time and unfortunately a will to want to change. By both, the bottom and the top of the economic engine or they both lose long term. Not because of one problem, but several that neither power nor money can now address, but just not ready to come into the 21st century. As good change does require time and a lot of good community effort that do not put money and self-interest ahead of what is in everyone best interest, for a more sustainable future 20th-century thinking leadership formal training will say it always worked this way. So why change. All we need is more money and time. Yet the problems keep growing and their first reaction well be. It works for me so it not my responsibility it's the government or the community responsibility to be there to support our vision. As it makes money and that the key to the future. Only in a world of technology and the ability of a growing G35 living in a world of 7 billion. 20th-century thinking is not sustainable, but we cannot change what we do but we do have to change how we do it and that well require time. As the 20th century formally trained see losing all the benefit, but little vision on why or how it can happen. Based on their formal 20th-century training. Interesting challenge. It no longer is change coming; it how it going to get here and at some time the same question I ask those that helped to do what the experts said could not be done but now happening on a Global scale What can you bring to the table with no expectation of anything in return and what they did money would not, but yet if the Hub ever does make money using 21st sustainable productivity. They will have the means to share in the financial benefits based on their realities or needs and the effort they put in the try and become part of change..

It took me about 3 months to assemble a team for Feastively - "my kitchen rules" in a box.

I was looking for a culinary operations person who could be moulded into our way of doing things, which is a little bit different to the industry norm. However, this meant doing my own research into what to ask of them in terms of value to be created for the startup. Through Josiah Ng (CEO at Intertain) I was introduced to a chef who had proven culinary creativity and capability.

The approach to finding a growth pro was similar. After speaking with a few marketers it became clear what to look for. I did hire a marketing agency prior to this but it became clear that execution would need more tactical creativity and man hours. After a brief ad on AngelList, I was approached by someone deeply interested in what we were doing. His passion for food was culturally ingrained.

My general approach in bringing on team members has been to take on capable and passionate people and then nurture the relationship. Seeking recommendations from similar startups helps vetting the individual's capability so I recommend taking all opportunities to meet and ask others.

Thanks Harshit, going to add this in to my article : )

About 15 seconds, I was like, "Hey wife, want to start a startup?" And she was like "Ok".

In all seriousness, I think this is a really hard problem if you don't already know people. Get a job in an early stage startup or atleast in a relevant industry and take a few years to integrate yourself into your local scene.

Early teams are required to go above and beyond normal roles, so it helps if you know each other well before being thrown in the deep end.

Dean McPherson - co-founder of Paperform (https://Paperform.co) with Diony McPherson.

Totally awesome! Definetly adding this in : )

Hi Luke,

Paul Towers, Founder & CEO of Task Pigeon.

I am a non-tech founder so needed to pull together a team to start work on my startup. Before I did that, however, I made sure I did as much as I possibly could myself (validating the idea, seeking user feedback, building a landing page) so that when I did speak to Developers they knew I was serious and already created some "value" around the idea/company.

Once I decided to build Task Pigeon (after receiving positive feedback from my user research) it took about one month to find my developer. One key tip I would offer non-technical founders is to find someone in your extended network who can provide advice and guide you on the type of technologies/languages you should be using and to help filter and review the developers you consider for the role.

I took two main approaches. Seeking Developers via Upwork on a freelance basis, and using AngelList to find developers open to working on a contract basis. I am glad I chose to go with a Developer I found on AngelList. I think having a direct relationship with your developer is crucial. So many things change during the early stage of a startup that you need to reflexibility to direct their efforts and action. You don't want to be tied into a set Statement of Work with an agency in my opinion.

Thanks Paul, going to add this in : )