Starting a High Tech Business: Talent


Kynetx
Logo

I’m starting a new business called Kynetx. As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. This is the seventh installment. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way--if so, please let me know!

Yesterday we held the first of what we call Kynetx Jam Sessions at the clubhouse. These are the meetings with some close friends and advisors who are helping us chart the initial course for Kynetx. I expect that as we get funding and ramp up, many of these folks will join us as senior management.

The discussion was incredible and we came away from the day with a much better understanding of short term directions and long term goals. Focus is the mother's milk of every startup, where every direction can seem open and inviting. We got focus in spades yesterday.

I'm grateful that there is large pool of very talented folks who I've worked with in the past who are willing, even excited, to help me flesh out this new venture. One of the best things about starting a company is that you get to pick the folks you work with. There's something about a startup that attracts talent of a very specific and useful type.

Kevin Fox announced today that he's leaving Google after 4.5 years to join a startup. Here's what he says:

Leaving Google is different than any other job I've left. Joining Google in 2003, it was the first time I took a job without knowing at the outset the reason I'd eventually leave the job (even if my employer didn't), and so it's strange to have found success there and yet feel a need for greater fulfillment sufficient to pull you away from what's generally recognized as the best workplace in America.
From Today is My Last Day at Google - Fox @ Fury
Referenced Fri Jan 04 2008 08:21:47 GMT-0700 (MST)

Kevin loves Google and yet he's willing to leave for a startup. A good idea with a go-to-market plan is a powerful elixir. It has the power to bring talented folks together to create something together.

VC's frequently say that the quality of the management team is one of the most important factors in evaluating a startups potential. As much as building a product, a good founder has to build a team.

You may be concerned about how you'll pay them. Likely the only thing you've got in abundance is equity and you may be loathe to give that up. Don't be. Good talent is worth it. Also, your passion for the project will attract folks and get them excited. Be upfront about where you are and what you expect.

Many people think the chief attraction of a startup is getting rich. Certainly people see that upside, but my experience is that people are much more excited by the shear fun of creating something new and seeing it succeed.

The moral of the story: don't go it alone. If you've got a good idea, start talking it up with people you'd like to work on it with you. Get them together and ask for their advice. You'll find that you'll get good ideas that you'd never have come up with on your own.

One last piece of advice: pay special attention to the advice you least want to hear. That's often the most valuable.