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Startup Builder
Tip of the Day

Startup Encounters:

Unavoidable – Get Prepared

One of a Series

In my forty years of startup experience, I found that entrepreneurs who were unable to overcome the adversarial encounters ended up sinking their startups, while those who emerged victorious over the surprise events became leaders of revered new enterprises.


I’ve observed startups of all kinds move along their own trails yet they formed a pattern that made them quite similar, like that of a wagon train of eager pioneers aiming to eventually arrive in untouched, fertile ranchland of Oregon. Along the way, surprises did happen, the good and not good. Those were encounters which first-time startup people did not expect and were rarely prepared to deal with. They included personal moments that were seldom shared, often mixes of fear and misdeeds that all wished would never appear in social network gossip and tell-all blogs.


Now I’ll share encounters that I and grizzled veterans of startups ran into and what happened.


“It’s all about people”.


Your biggest encounter will be about people. Not an idea. Not a new market. Not a hot technology.


Executing a startup business plan is all about people.

Recruiting Constantly

It starts with getting the best people you can.


I’m always amazed how much time is demanded for startup recruiting.


Recruiting for a startup is constant, demanding and often frustrating.


First-timers without successful recruiting track records are at a disadvantage.


The entire startup will participate in recruiting.


Recruiting demands planning, organization and discipline.


New hires will come and some will go. Turnover is inevitable, unpredictable.


Your key hires will be individuals who are have demonstrated success as leaders and managers.


Your most challenging responsibility as founder CEO is to keep the builders motivated so they remain with you when you encounter tough challenge after challenge along the startup trail. Your skill retaining them will be the main determinant to what happens to your new business. How you treat them and how you set the example for values and results will be what they scrutinize daily. They are highly sought, and they sit close to the exits.


Next time I’ll talk about being a startup LEADER.

I wish you The Best on your Adventure!



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John Nesheim
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Encouraging startups since Silicon Valley began.


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