Funded Startup? Don’t hire to train.

Yesterday morning Dan Martell tweeted “If you’re a funded startup and hiring people you need to train, you’re doing it wrong.

I’m a big believer in education but I can only agree with Dan’s tweet. A startup shouldn’t be a startup for too long, that’s the whole point. In my mind you should have a clear defined route to revenue and an even clearer route as to how you’re going to get the product out the door.

Whether you’re doing it the ‘lean’ way or not, if you’re taking your time in delivering product to clients and/or customers then you are slowing down that road to revenue and speeding it up to a closing door and calling it a day.

Start-ups are hard work, they’re not for the feint-hearted and the pressure is on from the get go. More so if you’re funded as you have investors looking for momentum and of course their return-on-investment. I truly believe in the sentiment of Dan’s tweet, for the first 12 months of a funded start-up’s life it is not the right place for people who need trained. Intern’s, Student’s and Placement’s might cost you less than an old-guard professional but you’re sure as hell not going to get what you need from them. It is a harsh truth, but it is the truth.

Even if you do have old guard members of your team, if you have people who need trained on your team as well, your old guard are not concentrating on the product as they are too busy training to even think about doing. This is detrimental to your product, your idea, your start-up and most of all the investment which you’ve received.

After the twelve months and hopefully when you’re in revenue you can maybe think about taking on members of the team who are needing trained but it’s got to involve a lot of thinking about where your product is at.

Where can people with less experience get experience if I’m saying some companies shouldn’t take these people on? Well it would be great if the larger companies had the ability and willing to do just that. I know Facebook hire a lot of intern’s, but they’re around the right size to do so. I know some young start-ups who do the same but they limit the amount of intern’s who they take on and put them through rigorous testing before hand.

Dan was right in my opinion. If you are a funded start-up, and are taking on people who need trained, you are doing it wrong. You should be focusing on the product and releasing product quicker. Releasing product at a 3 month point and then regularly after that is far better for you and your investors than hiring people who need trained to release product after twelve months when your competition is already a success and in revenue.

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Lead Interaction Designer at DigitalDWP. Organiser of Industry, The Practical Web Conference..