Ep. #631 - How to Build Your Startup Team
In this episode of Startup Hustle, tune in to Part 23 of “How to Start a Tech Company,” as Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson talk about how to build your startup team.
Covered In This Episode
One of the keys to building a successful tech startup is having the right team in place. But how do you build your startup team? Where will you get the funds to hire top-tier talent? Do you really need to hire C-suites? What do you look for when hiring? These are just some of the many questions that founders ask when it comes to building their startup team.
Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson discuss the importance of having the right team, especially in the early stages of the startup. They also talk about building your team based on experience, interests, and passion. Aside from those, they also emphasize the importance of hiring people that fit the culture that you are trying to build.
Join Matt and Matt to learn more about how to build your startup team in this Startup Hustle episode.
Explore the complete “How to Start a Tech Company” series.
- Introduction to this episode (0:08)
- Be involved in your business (1:47)
- What are you good at? What are you passionate about? (2:20)
- Build a team based on abilities, interests, and passion (5:12)
- Industry experience matters (6:24)
- Identify key positions and prioritize them (7:08)
- The biggest mistake people make when starting a startup (11:42)
- The importance of giving consideration to personalities (15:49)
- Don’t settle on filling positions temporarily (20:20)
- Build your team as the company you want it to be (23:42)
- Are we continually one pivot away from greatness? (25:45)
- Founder’s freestyle (32:15)
- Wrapping up (33:21)
The other big one here is industry experience. If you wanna start a tech company, you should have a software developer, software engineer, or technical person on the team. So whatever it is you’re doing, somebody on the founding team needs to know what the hell they’re doing in regards to the industry and some of the other people, maybe less, maybe less critical, right? But the more industry experience you have, by far, the better.Matt Watson
If you’re sitting around waiting for the right time, you’re going to find yourself missing a lot of opportunities because, guess what? The right time never comes. So you have to accept that decision, be prepared not to live with it, and make a correction and adjustment of a pivot.Matt DeCoursey
You need to make adjustments constantly, and if you want to build a winning team, you need to communicate with your team. You need to listen to your team. If you’re the founder, those people work with you, not for you.Matt DeCoursey
You want to always be kind of looking at how you can upgrade every position on the team. I mean, you hate to think about it that way. But that’s the truth. If you want to be the winning team, you got to have the best quarterback. You got to have the best left tackle. You got to have the best running back. Just because you have one today doesn’t mean there’s no better one out there.Matt Watson
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 0:00
And we’re back. Back for another episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey, here, with Matt Watson. Hi, Matt.
Matt Watson 0:06
What’s going on, man?
Matt DeCoursey 0:08
Well, yeah, I’m just happy to be fresh out of a fast fail. And I have figured a whole lot of stuff out. And I want to talk about building a startup team. You want to have that conversation with me today, buddy.
Matt Watson 0:24
You know, it takes a good team to win a championship. So absolutely
Matt DeCoursey 0:28
true. True. I got Patrick. It’s true. But there’s 10. Other guys that gotta show up and play. Because if they don’t, if they don’t, that’s called the last Super Bowl. So yeah, that’s how that goes. So here, we’re back for part 23 of 52 of how to start a tech company. Today’s episode, Startup Hustle is brought to you by TriNet, the fastest way to HR expertise. Most of us know and understand that small to medium sized businesses face unique HR challenges. TriNet as a full service HR provider that offers 24/7 support, they can help you handle the toughest HR questions. So you’re free to focus on your people and your growing business, go to trinet.com. To learn more, or click the link in the show notes. You know, part of building a team is dealing with the human resources, stuff that goes with it, and also doing things like well, you know, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that you and I are the founders and owners of Full Scale, go to fullscale.io. And we build software teams. So you know, all businesses start with founder or founders. So do we have to start we have to begin with ourselves?
Matt Watson 1:41
We we’re definitely the beginning of this thing for sure.
Matt DeCoursey 1:47
Well, now I say that now because I think some people, will you ever know someone that wants to start a business but doesn’t really want to be involved with the business? Absolutely. I mean, those don’t work out. Those don’t work out often.
Matt Watson 2:02
Yeah, and some people think like, they’re going to buy a McDonald’s, and the McDonald’s is gonna make so much money that they can hire a team to run it. But really what they do they start a franchise, it only makes enough money to pay them as the General Manager, and they got to be involved in the day to day business, like theirs just doesn’t make enough money to hire professional management. So
Matt DeCoursey 2:20
yeah, now, you know, so back to it, I made that comment, because some people, you know, absentee owners and absentee ownership leads to shitty businesses, really. I mean, those are usually not, not well run, they have, I mean, historically, and statistically have a lot of issues. Now, when I say also began with ourselves, if we’re going to build a team, and we’re founders and we have a small lean unit, you know, anywhere from sometimes it’s just one. And sometimes it’s two, three, a small handful of people. When we begin with ourselves, we got to first start at like looking deep within and being honest about what we as entrepreneurs and people are just any good at. Yeah. Like, well, what are you good at math?
Matt Watson 3:10
Well, I don’t even know. I mean, I think I’m good at a lot of things. But I don’t think I’m great at any of them. But maybe that’s my superpower. I don’t know. But the I think the key is, you know, when you started a business, you need people that are good at sales and product development and operations and finances and all these different things, right? Are they all founders? Are they employees, right? And they can be one or the other. And part of it comes down to what you can afford. And it’s like, well, you know, we can’t afford to hire XYZ. But we can give somebody shares and we can make them part of the team. Like, that’s always the struggle you run into when you first start the company.
Matt DeCoursey 3:57
Yeah, I agree. And, you know, I think it’s not only what are you good at? I think it’s also like, what are you passionate about and like doing because the thing is, is if you don’t like doing something, you’re probably just not going to do it. And if it’s something that is a key role and key tasks and things that need to be done at your business, then it’s going to fall by the wayside, and eventually you’re going to have to go back and address your lack of attention to specific stuff. So you know, like, I mean, that when you think about like, Okay, we’ve it’s And sorry to try that or or touts off to TriNet because I don’t like HR stuff like that stuff bores me it’s like very mechanical it’s just not really what I want to spend my time to go to trinet.com and let them help you but but you know, past that, like, that’s something I don’t like doing it the business so that’s, that’s a good place to start. You have other things like, like basic accounting, or I don’t know, like, what are a couple things that you just don’t like to do or suck at your business?
Matt Watson 4:59
Well, it’s like Sales. I don’t really enjoy doing sales related stuff, right? Like, I’d rather be like in the basement somewhere in the science lab like building cool shit. And then I’ll let you figure out how to sell it.
Matt DeCoursey 5:12
Right. And well, that’s worked well for us in the past. Yeah. So why not why why deviate from it. But now, I mentioned that because you know, Matt and I are, while Matt has owned, operated, exited and works for other businesses other than the one we own together at Full Scale. I mean, part of what made us a good combination of co founders is we’re good at different stuff. Like I like the sales stuff, I like promoting, I like getting out there. I like doing that stuff, where I focused on that. And you helped us more with things that were related to how our development services, catered to clients assessments, just a whole lot of different stuff, including the approach of creating a hybrid team, between people that were in the United States, and then our office in the Philippines. And you know, like that, the thing is, is those are things that Matt Watson was very versed at, was very credible, was experiencing firsthand and getting that input allowed me to go focus on other stuff. That’s an example of beginning to build a team based around interests, abilities, and just
Matt Watson 6:24
all of it well, and I think the other big one here is industry experience, right? When you’re starting out a new company, or like, we want to build a software and aerospace or I want to start a legal practice, like, well, maybe one of the people should be a lawyer, that’s part of the founding team, right? Like, whatever it is you’re doing. industry experience is a big one, like so if you wanna start a tech company, you probably should have a software developer, software engineer, technical person on the team, right? So whatever it is, you’re doing, somebody on the founding team needs to know what the hell they’re doing in regards to the industry and some of the other people, maybe less, maybe less critical, right. But the more industry experience you have, by far, the better.
Matt DeCoursey 7:08
Simply put ident, you gotta identify the key positions, what tasks need to be performed by each and then prioritize them. Because, you know, as Matt said, there’s, there’s the ideal world, and then there’s the real world. And, you know, sometimes you just can’t afford all of it. So then when it comes to building an affordable, yeah, we’ve talked about this a lot. And like, some of the advice we give our clients at Full Scale is like, so what stage of business are you at? Okay, we’re like, like, barely started, we’ve only got the budget for one software developer to build a tech platform, okay, so don’t find so you need a Swiss army knife, not a sword, you need someone that’s going to be able to do a lot of stuff and a lot you can’t afford, as you say, in the past, you can’t afford specialists yet.
Matt Watson 7:52
Well, and this is a problem with a lot of early stage startups, right? It’s usually it’s more product, people that start the business, because they’re like, We have this great idea, and we’re gonna go build this thing. They’re not necessarily usually sales people. And then, when you first start the business, you’re like, hey, we’re in r&d mode for the next year to like, even having a salesperson is less important, unless they’re helping doing market validation, or finding early customers, or POCs, and stuff like that. But sure, as hell, not a lot of commission to go around and hard to pay them and hard to justify paying them 200 grand a year, and all that kind of stuff, right? So then you have to quickly get to the point where you can afford that person. So that you can have like a credible sales team. So that’s always one of the catch 20 twos and you start out is having the right sales, leadership and talent. And those guys are expensive. Very expensive.
Matt DeCoursey 8:43
Yeah. And that’s why I mentioned like the once you identify the key positions, well, okay, now in that same role that you just mentioned, you might not need a Chief Financial Officer, no hell because because you don’t have any money coming in, it might all be going out. But you might, but if you’re building a tech company, much like the series is about you know, having someone that’s a CTO is might be a better position because you get higher level guidance and and more experience and what is your company do? Like, you know, like you met, you mentioned, use the legal example earlier, you and I should not start a legal services startup. Oh, no, we don’t have any experience in the industry. But if we were,
Matt Watson 9:28
yeah, but we could start like a legal software business, right, but maybe we should have like a lawyer join the team.
Matt DeCoursey 9:34
Because that person could actually give us an insight about what the pain points are about what they do. Yeah, otherwise we’re just flying blind. And I we see people start companies and startups all the time, around shit they don’t know anything about, and I don’t know where that comes from. And you know, like, like I said, that’s a that’s that’s not a good approach. Now when it comes to the building. Go ahead.
Matt Watson 9:59
I was gonna say like me, and you’re starting like a whole foods business or like, we don’t know shit about like manufacturing food, like, can you imagine all that? Yeah, well that too. But can you can you imagine? Can you imagine all the problems we’d run into like, we have no idea like FDA and like, we have no idea what we’re doing we we would fail fast.
Matt DeCoursey 10:20
Not to not to, not to mention like to people with no desire experience or skill at cooking or anything, anything culinary now, I’m a big guy, I’m great at eating stuff. But the the, everything that occurs on the way up to that point, not not grayed out, and I don’t enjoy, you know, and that I do want to actually kind of flip that back to the very beginning of this episode, man, we’re talking about things you like doing it, I think it’s okay to build your company and structure it around the things you do and don’t like doing it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have to do shit that you don’t want to do. But I mean, it like I learned pretty quickly when I when I became an entrepreneur that finding people to do the things that I didn’t want to do and that I wasn’t good at was a really, really smart move.
Matt Watson 11:12
Matt DeCoursey 11:15
Okay, so Matt, Matt, whether you have full time or part time employees, and one or many states, each scenario does have unique requirements and try that gives you accurate, compliant payroll. It’s all on a single platform with benefits. And at the end of the day, it’s about paying people on time without distraction and hassles to go to trinet.com. To learn more. Matt, do you have what do you have some pending comments here?
Matt Watson 11:42
Well, I mean, so I think we’ve got some other tips to get into here. But I think another common mistake that people have is the job titles, the handout early on, right, like you mentioned, like, oh, you need a CTO as well, just because you found a random software developer who can write code. That doesn’t mean he’s like qualified to be the CTO of a company. He’s just a software developer. And, you know, look up the definition between manager, director, VP, executive, and actually, like, take heart of that, right, like a director usually manages multiple managers. And a CTO manages multiple directors, right. Like, if you’re is a team of one, you’re just a software developer, you’re not CTO, you don’t have like 100 people that report to you. So just be careful with job titles, because those people also expect to make way more money when you hand them out this bogus job title. And then later on, when you actually need a real CTO, you’ve got this dude that you gave this fake job title that was never going to be able to do that role.
Matt DeCoursey 12:44
It’s well, it’s kind of like in sales, you know, when it comes to discussing price, they always say start high, because it’s easier to drop your price than it is to raise it. And it’s the same thing like with job titles, and you know, I think I’m really glad you brought that up now, because it’s not on our notes. And it is very crucially important, because we’ve run into that, you know, you give someone you’re like, just because you’re first does not mean you’re the director, the hoe, the chief, the you know, the wizard, whatever you want to call it. And the problem is, is that can, like I said, backing out of that, why do we need the CTO? I’m the CTO What are you doing? I’m getting downgraded like, right, it’s it’s not a comfortable situation. So okay, I got a good one, Matt. So when it comes to building a winning team, I You got to find people that are proactive, you want action takers, you want people that don’t settle for things not being done, things being done poorly, and, and that don’t allow important things to go unsolved.
Matt Watson 13:47
Well, the big thing for me is I hate people that just bring me problems. You know how easy it is to find frickin problems. It takes like zero effort, you know how much effort it takes to solve the damn problem a lot, right? But that’s what we need. We need people who solve the problems, not people to just find problems to every damn thing and whine about they can’t do their job because of the problems especially when you’re a startup. You need people to take action to get shit done figured out like we’re all in uncharted territory, on our way to the North Pole, or whatever the hell we’re going. And we don’t know how to get there, but we need people are gonna frickin figure it out.
Matt DeCoursey 14:22
And you know, when you’re going to build your team and a startup, that is a, I think your as you build that and you’re talking to people and you’re interviewing, recruiting, whatever it is that you’re doing, I think it’s really important to talk to those that are that are considering coming into your fold. And this is the way that conversation goes. Hey, Matt, the one thing I just want to be upfront about is we’re a new company, we’re a startup there are so many things that we’re figuring out that we’re defining that we’re learning how to do so if you’re used to or only comfortable coming into an environment where they already have a 400 page owner and operator Manual that goes with the business. If that’s where you think you’re going to thrive and not the other way around, this might not be the right opportunity for you. Because some people do well in that spot. And some people don’t, some people need to come in and have very well defined everything. And some people are great at coming in and helping you figure it
Matt Watson 15:20
out. Well, like I’ve got one guy on my team, he’s great. But he always whines about, well, we don’t do this. And we don’t do that we don’t do this. And we should do this. I’m like, so just fucking do it. You’re the manager, you’re the leader, where he’s used to working in this big cog in the machine that forced him to do all those things. Because he was like this process where I’m like, if you think we need to do things, just do them. But he doesn’t do them. He just complains that we don’t do that. Right. Like, it’s just very frustrating. And that’s part of the issues you have as a small company.
Matt DeCoursey 15:49
Well, I think that that leads into the next item I’ve got on the list, which is giving consideration to you know, personalities, and some of that, because those matter in small teams, you know, like if you’re if we weren’t mad if we work for Globo Corp, and it has 100,000 employees, one person with a shitty attitude, I can lose that person in the building, right? Or something can occur. But if you have two people, or four people or whatever, on your team, and one of them sucks, that’s a pretty high percentage of your company that sucks at that point. And, you know, I think that the personalities, and I think a lot of people don’t give consideration to that. So, you know, like, if I was doing I did a job interview today, and I was talking to a lady and I said, Hey, look, you know why we have over 200 employees in the Philippines, we only have five here. And so therefore the way that people fit and to our local unit, and the way that the personalities, Nash, and all of that works together is very, very important. Very important.
Matt Watson 16:55
The biggest problem, so the personalities and the culture and all that stuff is, is really important. The number one thing though, is quickly finding the people that are like really negative, and not productive, and getting them the hell out as fast as possible, because they’re like a cancer. And, you know, we lost one of those, we had one of those that stockpile, and I know we’ve had, you know, one or two at Full Scale even over time, or it’s like, you got these people, they just complain about everything. And then they complain to all the other employees, they’re negative, all the other employees and all that then all the other employees are questioning like, well, maybe I don’t like working here, maybe this place does suck and whatever. And it’s just because you got this one person that runs run all they just bitches about everything in life, they’re never going to be happy, they just happen to work for you. But even at their next job, they’re not gonna be happy, they just fucking hate life, right? Like, we all know those people, right? And sadly, you can accidentally hire them, and they’re just a cancer,
Matt DeCoursey 17:46
you can avoid hiring them, because they’re usually the people that show up and complain about all the other places they’ve worked in people that they worked with. If they do that, if you’re getting out if you’re getting out in an interview process, and people like y’all fuck that place, and all those people they suck, and whatever it was, that’s what you’re gonna get.
Matt Watson 18:03
Yep. It doesn’t matter where they go, yeah, they just say life. And
Matt DeCoursey 18:07
now they might have felt that way. But the people that have a good attitude and move forward will say things like, you know what, it was a really great opportunity, it might in the end, it probably wasn’t a good fit for me, but I had a good time while I was there, you know, like it is it is now in regards to personalities. You know, you have different personalities are going to do better at different kinds of jobs. It’s just, it’s just psychology. And it’s proven fact, like people that are highly driven, like you’re really extroverted people. And they’re usually not highly organized. And they’re usually not interested in highly repetitive tasks, where people that are introverted often are so you know, I’m not gonna get too far off track with that. But there is just like a gazillion search results on Google. That kind of lead you to things like, you know, like, it just there are certain types of jobs roles and tasks that have proven longevity and success with different personality types. Other things that you need to were up to when it comes to building a team is alright, so I’m a 99 out of 100 on most tests when it comes to drive, which is not always a good mix with someone that’s on the opposite side of that graph. So sometimes that’s where those that mixes and there’s all kinds of tools and personality inventories and things like that thing trying to show you where someone’s going to fit on a team.
Matt Watson 19:38
Well and so some of that to your point we talked about building the founders right is what are the goals right like so you want to like go to the moon you want to be like ring the bell at Wall Street and all that where you got your other founders, you’re like, you know what, we just want to make a couple dollars and have a job and a business that’s profitable. We’re good with that. Where you’re always the guy like no, we want to we’re going to the moon. We’re going One of the moon, and everybody else is like, kind of hate this guy, he just won’t shut up. We just want to like chill and make money. And this guy like he’s driving us all nuts, right? Like, you gotta y’all have gotta align, and be on the same page on those things, right. And some of that it’s the personalities. And the founders make sure but he’s on the same page.
Matt DeCoursey 20:20
All right, so next in line here, Matt, not settling on filling positions temporarily. There are some things that, okay, for example, you don’t want to fill your accountant position temporarily. Because the amount of time it takes to get started and then maybe handed off to someone else may exceed the actual time that it takes to get the work done. There are on the flip side, though, I want to challenge this point, because sometimes you can bring consultants in, right, or people to do things in very short bursts that are very well suited for that there are some things alright, so we just hired some sales consultants at Full Scale, why I needed some help, just kind of getting everything flowing in a certain direction, tying the results of marketing together with sales and all of that, and, and it made a lot of sense to bring someone in on a six month contract to help us do that. We can always extend that contract, trust me, they’re interested in it. But I also if it doesn’t work out or isn’t going the way I need it to, I don’t have a really, really expensive full time person to cut loose, or I didn’t burn through a ton of money, some positions, you have to you’re not going to know for a few months, if anyone’s any good. And you might be able to buy a hell of a lot of cash for
Matt Watson 21:49
part time people to kind of your point, like fractional part time people, right, it’s like, I don’t need a full time lawyer either. But I need one for $400 now or every once in a while. I don’t need a full time CFO, but I might need one fractional. But I think the other part of this is just not settling for whoever you can find to do the job, right? I mean, it’s one thing if you need somebody to sweep the floors, you’re like, Okay, whoever can come in and sweep the floors, fine, I can replace them, and anybody else can come do it. But if it’s like a really key position where you don’t want to be like, Man, we just need to find anybody to come do this job. It’s not really a good place to be. If you’re just accepting whoever talent wise to come in and do it. Especially if it’s
Matt DeCoursey 22:30
right. And that’s that’s Case in point there. So like you use the janitor example, that’s a transactional position like that he can submit, you can pick up the phone and make a simple transaction over the phone and have someone else come and do it. And you probably won’t notice it. But for your sales director, if there’s no point in having a temporary position. Now there’s a difference between hiring a sales director and hiring a sales consultant. Right for different things. One person might be helping you figure out what you need, or giving you just a different set of input. I am really becoming a huge fan of like the consultant experience in some regards, because like those can often be short deals. And you see what you get the expert, you extend it? Yeah, they’re experts. And people often say you mentioned the $400 an hour lawyer. God, it’s so expensive, you’re not paying for that hour, you’re paying for all the hours that were prior to yours that that person spent learning that so that those people kind of people will give you more data info and knowledge and an hour for 400 bucks, then you’re gonna get in $12,000 of having someone a month full time.
Matt Watson 23:40
Matt DeCoursey 23:42
Okay. So this next one I’m a big fan of and it’s something I’ve been talking about a lot internally at Full Scale. So don’t build your team, for a startup, build the team as if you were the company you want to be not always the company you are now so you know, Full Scale. We just had our third birthday.
Matt Watson 24:02
Oh, that’s right.
Matt DeCoursey 24:04
Three, yeah, three years old, 202 120 employees. And all of a sudden, we start looking at where we’re growing. And then it’s very easy to have the blinders on, you’re kind of servicing the now and then all of a sudden, you know, I start looking around, I’m like shit, we’ve been hiring 20 new people a month. So in one year, our company will be double A size, can we even handle that. And part of it is you have to start preparing for being the company that you want to be well ahead of you arriving at being the company you want to be. Because if you’re not preparing for that ahead of time, dude, you’re never gonna get there. Or if you do manage to get there, you are going to probably have an ungodly mess to clean up. We experienced some of that Full Scale from growing families. Right. So you got any input on that one?
Matt Watson 24:53
You know, it’s always hard, right? Like, you’re like, Oh, we want to hire a sales team eventually, right? We want have like five salespeople. But if you go hire like a VP of sales, he may not be the man that make phone calls, that might not be his thing. He might just train other people to make phone calls, right? And that’s the that’s the tricky thing you get into like, oh, well, I hired a VP of sales, but he literally doesn’t sell anything. He just manages other salespeople. So and then that’s where the job titles thing comes in. And, and it can be tricky when you hire because it’s almost like you don’t want to hire a VP of sales. You want to hire a really good salesperson that you think could be your VP of sales, and you’ve got to kind of maybe coach them up a little bit and train them up to get them to be the VP. Like, that’s always the struggle of a startup is like that it’s filling those roles and the mixture of talent you really need.
Matt DeCoursey 25:45
Yeah, and, you know, it’s people said, was it the right time? You don’t know? You don’t know. If you’re sitting around waiting for the right time, you’re gonna find yourself missing a lot of opportunities as well, because guess what the right time never comes? The right time is a myth, Matt, the right time we tell ourselves, it’s not the right time, because it’s a subtle way of telling, giving ourselves justification for not trying or quitting. And it’s true. I mean, if you find yourself, it’s not the right time, it’s not the right time. There are cases where it truly, in fact, is not the right time. Now, if you’re gonna have a baby next week, buying a new house, starting a new business and picking up a new car all tomorrow, it might not be the right time, right? Maybe you need all of that, because the new baby’s coming, you don’t know it’s situational. And you’re and look, we never know if decisions are right or wrong until later. So you got to just kind of accept that make the decision, be prepared to not live with it and make a correction and adjustment of pivot. What aren’t we aren’t we continually one pivot away from greatness, Matt?
Matt Watson 26:53
Matt DeCoursey 26:57
We maybe we need to revive that weren’t we’re going to have like a T shirt line of, of, for startups. Because what the world needs is another company that makes T-shirts that say dumb shut on him. So then everybody we’re stealing, we’re spending, we were spending some things that steal it, if you want one pivot away from greatness, there you go. Okay. So, you know, we’re talking about building, building a strong team. And look, just as a reminder, if you need help with your tech team, call us up, reach out FullScale.io. That’s what we do. Because there are certain things that you may not be aware of, there are 350,000 Open tech jobs in the United States. That means you’re going to have a hard time finding people to fill your tech roles. So some of that if you’re not ready to pony up and pay market rate, when whatever market you’re in, you may need to consider other options. And I think that these are things that, you know, we specialize in, in in building offshore teams, but those offshore teams work with local teams, creating a nice little hybrid, bland, both for expenses, schedules, all of that, like be open, don’t tell yourself that, that the way is the way in view if especially if it’s a way you haven’t tried or it’s the only way you’ve tried.
Matt Watson 28:19
There’s only a certain amount of talent to go around.
Matt DeCoursey 28:22
True. Now, when I first met, when I first met you, you weren’t a big fan of offshore developers. So it wasn’t so you had an experience with and now now you own a company with me that employs hundreds of them. Yeah, yep. What made you change the approach,
Matt Watson 28:39
trying it out actually using it for getting the right model, you know, doing it the right way. You know, I was talking to somebody last week that also does some offshore stuff and he immediately talked about like the three or four reasons it fails and it’s like the same problems that we you know, figured out we had to solve the Full Scale right and
Matt DeCoursey 29:00
communication timezone and heart just literally hiring the wrong people.
Matt Watson 29:04
Eliminating project managers that sit in the middle and stuff like that. So yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 29:10
Oh, wait, so we did something right with our figured it out. Yeah, by the way, our business our approach to building Full Scale was pretty easy. We talked to all of our future employees we talked to a bunch of people that were potential clients and we asked them what they liked and what they didn’t like, and then we just did the opposite of what they didn’t like. Yep. And we build a successful business it was pretty simple. I think that’s another thing we need to throw in here as we kind of get to the end of this this episode is look Don’t you gotta be ready to make adjustments you got, you know, Bill Bella check who’s not my favorite coach because I don’t like the Patriots mainly because they beat the chiefs. But he, you know, he’ll tell you if you’re wait until halftime to make adjustments, you’ve waited too long. Like you need to constantly be making adjustments and if you want to build a winning team, you need to community Kate with your team, you need to listen to your team. If you’re the founder, you those people work with you not for you. Like, you know, I’m a big advocate of that, like, Yeah, you don’t work for me at Full Scale, you work with me, we just had different roles and responsibilities.
Matt Watson 30:16
Well, and I know this kind of may sound bad, but to continue to use the football analogy, you also want to always be kind of looking at how you can upgrade every position on the team. Sure, right. I mean, you hate to think about it that way. But that’s the truth. Right? If you want to be the winning team, you got to have the best quarterback, you got to have the best left tackle, you got to have the best running back. Just because you have one today doesn’t mean there’s not a better one out there. And,
Matt DeCoursey 30:43
and that might mean you need to be humble and smart and mature enough to step out of the way, Matt, you’ve actually sat at a table with me talking to investors that wanted to write big checks at Full Scale and heard me say, hey, look, if there’s ever a point in which I’m not the best candidate or person to be the CEO of this company, I’ll be the first person to not only bring it up, but the first person to get out of the way.
Matt Watson 31:04
Because we want the team to win. Right?
Matt DeCoursey 31:07
That’s it, Mike, I’ll be the janitor, I’m willing to do anything that we need to get done to win. And that doesn’t mean I like it. Now, Matt, you know, today’s episode was brought to us by tri net. And you know, you gotta try that.com Thanks, again for their sponsorship and involvement. I think when it comes to all this, I think that leaning on service providers, like try not to handle these like little HR things, payroll, whatever, like, Don’t spend your time messing around with that shit. Let companies like TriNet, do it. Because your effort is better spent, you know, like there’s the world has solved that problem. Meaning there are, you know, companies like TriNet that will help you hold the things that hold your team together, this little structure elements in the background, they deal with that, you know, everything or payroll, all of it.
Matt Watson 32:01
Well think about if you were in a remote world now, where you have employees in multiple states, right? So if they can help you with dealing with employees and multiple states and all the legalities of all that, like, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Matt DeCoursey 32:15
So now I’m here in a minute, and I’m gonna get back to building my own winning team. I’m just going 100 miles an hour. So you know, we blaze through all the content here. Do you have any closing remarks for building a startup team?
Matt Watson 32:28
It’s always hard. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s like, you know, the first person you hire, you want them to be the CTO, but they’re not really the long term CTO, they’re just a software developer, right? Or, like at sacrifi, we need to hire say, a director of operations are supportive, whatever it is, but like, we can’t go hire somebody that would cost like $200,000 a year that has like lots of experience, like we can’t afford that person. And it’s like, instead, we have to find somebody that is like good at their job. But we think they’re ready to go to the next level of that. And you almost have to kind of coach them up because you think that they’ve got the the capability to do it. And as a startup, I feel like that’s what we have to do a lot of the times until we have the like, the revenues or the bank role to really go hire top tier talent. You got to almost find like the second tier talent that you think you can grow into being top tier talent. Yeah, yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 33:21
Or the Swiss Army knife. Yeah, I’m gonna parlay on to that. Because like I mentioned, I was doing a job interview. Earlier today, I wasn’t looking for a job. I was trying to hire someone just to get that out there. But, you know, I was asked, you know, well, is there a job description, I said, you know, we have so many things we need to do and get better out, I’m looking for people that are capable of doing some of those things. And then we’ll begin to shape the role around that, you know, because while we can create certain jobs, I find job descriptions and titles to be restrictive, especially in that early stage, kind of like you’re mentioning, like, what’s my job description, to do whatever we need to do that needs to be done or to be successful. That’s the job description for pretty much everyone that works for us now, you know, and Jessica Powell, who is our director of strategic partnerships, and helps coordinate this podcast is someone I hired, I said, Look, there’s three different paths that you’re going to likely go down. We’re going to try all of them and see which one really goes the best. And then we’re going to point you at that and we’ll backfill in the other spots, so and that’s okay. Because when you have three people that are doing the job that nine people might need to do. That’s just kind of the way it works. So, Matt, I’ll see you next time.
Matt Watson 34:38
All right, time to get back to the team.
Matt DeCoursey 34:41