A founder, sometimes a business person or early CEO and maybe one or two engineers: this is the typical size of a startup team presenting to us for the first time here at Khosla Ventures. Let’s assume that we like the technology, team and market, and decide to fund them. Of course, in every pitch, there’s a lot of talk of funding and development milestones, and there also are outlines for which hires will happen when: “We will hire two more engineers in the first three months and a sales guy once we have a first rev on the product.” As the entrepreneur though, you may never have recruited a team before. You may not even know enough people in the industry to have a clue where to start looking for those engineers or that one right “sales guy.” How many people should you hire? Where should you look? How should you approach them? These are questions that are as important as they are inevitable for every single entrepreneur. Engaging them as early as possible is a key to startup success.
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