/ Last updated: June 28, 2023

Impress your investors: Skills your team must have

Your runway is becoming shorter by the day. And competitors are right behind you. Skills your team must have are the ones which is core.
Christopher Marken - Reading Time:

You don’t need to be an expert on everything to build a startup. But you need to have the core skills needed to execute fast on your idea, and cheaply too. But what are the core skills you might ask?

Well, I’d say it depends. Let me explain my thinking in this edition of the newsletter.

Time is your most precious resource

As a founder, the clock is always ticking. Your runway is becoming shorter by the day. And competitors are right behind you.

This is why the ability to execute is so important for success. I rank it second. After the timing factor.

When looking at a team, I want to see them having the core skills to execute their business. And execute with speed.

This means that if they are building a digital product, they need to have a skilled CTO.

And all ventures need to attract customers and employees. Who can be the evangelist for the company? Either through digital marketing or through direct sales. Both these skill sets are very different.

I think outsourcing key activities doesn’t cut it. I’ve seen it fail a couple of times firsthand. Do you agree? What examples have you observed? Reply to this email and share your observations and opinions.

Often your pockets aren’t deep enough to pay for expensive tech consultants

One startup in the consumer space lost its co-founder CTO. They decided to outsource the development of the platform. Costs keep building. The runway was disappearing alarmingly fast.

Having developers as consultants is very expensive. You might think that putting out your MVP will be enough. But trust me, as soon as the MVP hits the customers, you want to change something. Maybe everything. Pivot time!

And the bills will continue to stack up.

But on the other hand, you can not have a specialist in all areas. This is the luxury of mature organizations with deep pockets. It’s fine to use external specialists.

But not for your core activities.

Don’t outsource your go-to-market execution either

Another area where teams often are spread too thin is marketing/sales.

I recently sat down with a CEO of an early-stage B2B company. He was struggling. They had not been able to commit to a go-to-market strategy.

As a result, they were working with almost all channels you can think of simultaneously. Direct sales by making calls, building a pipeline, doing demos, and signing deals.

And a digital channel with paid ads to onboard customers through a funnel. Outsourced to a media agency. At a decent fare, I have to admit.

But it created a headache with all the overhead of managing the agency to do the right things.

This startup had even added content marketing and SEO to its go-to-market model. To drive organic search traffic.

Content marketing is a whole space of its own which takes a lot of effort to get results. Only the top 3 hits of a search result get a decent share of the traffic. And getting there is not done by writing one blog article.

No wonder this CEO wanted to staff up the team with more people

He felt overwhelmed. All of these channels take time to execute. And energy. Creating split focus.

So what do I think you should do? Prioritize. And prioritize hard. Strategy is choosing what not to do according to Michel Porter.

And don’t let consultants bleed your startup to death!

What about you? What has been successful for you to outsource? Hit reply and let me know.



Building the team

Creating a product

Secure funding


Do you want to shine in your next investor meeting?

You have successfully subscribed! Check your email to download the list.