Just before we hit the break, Tak Lo, program manager at TechStars took the stage to talk about how to build the A-Team for your startup. Lo was a US soldier for two years (hence the title of the presentation) and the experience, he said, is something that made him a leader. He also added that time in the military taught him how to lead specific teams and how to further motivate his teammates.
You need to have your intangibles and you need to have your skills.
Lo was pretty clear when it came to ingredients one needs to build a good startup team. He basically calls this principle 3 C’s and 3 H’s.
Intangibles (3 C’s)
- Courage (…is what you’re afraid do to. There can be no courage unless you’re scared)
- Camaraderie (There is no I in the team, WE is stronger than ME)
- Competence (Accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier)
Skills (3 H’s)
Building the A-Team
Lo stated that an alpha team, a go-to team should be consisted at least out of one hustler, two hipster and two hackers. You need hipsters as they are the ones who know the trends and have these crazy ideas.
You need hackers as they are the ones who are ultimately going to deliver the product by writing lines and lines of code. And yes, you do need a hustler because it’s the person who will sell your product to others and to investors Lo added.
An Alpha team should be consisted out ot one hustler, two hipsters, and two hackers!
Tek Lo pointed out that intangibles are far more important than core skills, at least in the beginning. While programming is something you can learn, hustling and having those crazy ideas is something you were born with.
We don’t take single founders into programme. We’re looking for crazy guy leading the team of very clever guys.
Lo finished by saying that it’s actually a good sign that people have more intangibles as those are the people TechStars is looking for!