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The Insightful Optimist - Nº6

March 18 · Issue #6 · View online
The Insightful Optimist
Startups: "Recruiting your team"
Orfi Active, the startup that I run, is an early-stage one. It’s a pre-revenue company. What this means is a lot of the time is that the hires that you make are crucial to your success, but you don’t have much funds to throw at ‘superstars’. What what to do in those cases? How to build you initial startup’s team? Here are some of my key findings:
  1. Having ‘superstars’ as the founding team gives you the best chance to start strong
  2. Saving money for core hires will cost you more in the long run
  3. Make your core team full-time hires
  4. Support your core team with outsourced and freelance talent
  5. Hire all-rounders, but specialists in what you’re not good at
What does a core team look like?
This is someone that is responsible for building the product/service. The could be a superior developer, a marketing guru or any other extraordinary talent that gives your product or service an advantage over others.
Usually one of the co-founders, this person dreams big, is ambitious and manages to clearly articulate what the company could achieve in the future. This person is most likely an extrovert and is the face of the brand, going in front of the audience through TV, press and other media outlets.
Hopefully, the other co-founder, working closely with The Visionary. This person’s job is to translate the vision and make it a reality through thorough and well-organised processes, project management and managing deadlines/deliverables.
aka. ‘The Sales Guy/Gal’
This person will know the product inside-out, will constantly be on the phone, in meetups and events, crafting sales campaigns and doing whatever it takes to raise product awareness and get users/clients.
He or she is crucial at the early stages of a startup. You need someone to understand numbers and look after company’s financials, reporting, analyse performance and help create future predictions and strategies based on data-driven decisions.
Often overlooked, this person is responsible for all the aesthetic and brand identity decisions, making sure the product not only works well, but looks good and provides great user experience. Something that has become more important in today’s market.
While not crucial, this can be a very useful person to have on your team. Someone who’s ‘been there done that’ and can help avoid pitfalls and mistakes made due to inexperience. This is usually in a form of an advisory role rather than full-time.
This doesn’t mean that you need to have 7 different people on your team from the get-go, one person can definitely have multiple personas, characteristics and skillsets, and that is what happens most of the time in early-stage startups, but at the end of the day this is what I would be looking as my core startup team.
Everything else can and should be outsourced in my opinion, especially things like accounting, legal and development. Why? I’ve actually briefly talked about it in a video when it comes to hiring full-time vs freelance, especially when it comes to development:
Jonas Urbonas on LinkedIn: #ThatLithuanianDude #freelancers #techstartup Jonas Urbonas on LinkedIn: #ThatLithuanianDude #freelancers #techstartup
Health: "Long-term vs short-term thinking"
Time and time again I notice something: people looking for a quick and easy way out when it comes to health.
‘I will eat this tasty sugary thing and be healthy because the label say so’
‘I will drink this pill and all my health issues will be gone’
‘I will get this surgery and will be like new again’
Vaccines? No different. I look around and see people being obese, not exercising, not eathing healthy and simply waiting for a mircale cure from Covid in a vaccine.
The WOF report said 2.2 million of the 2.5 million global deaths were in countries with high levels of obesity. They added that countries with low levels of obesity, lower than 40 per cent of the population, had a low Covid death rate of no more than 10 people per 100,000.
The UK? Third highest Covid death rate and the fourth highest obesity rate.
All of the top underlying issues that contribute to death by Covid are related to nutrition and sugar levels. It’s a small change that could save millions of lives without any vaccines: stop eating sugar, fast food and other things THAT YOU KNOW ARE BAD FOR YOU, it’s no rocket science. But we’d rather wait for a magical cure in stead…
watch this:
Let’s face it, if our nation would have a strong immune system from a healthy lifestyle none of these drastic measures, such as lockdowns, face masks, isoltions would be needed.
Looking for a quick fix is short-term thinking. I am not saying a vaccine won’t help fight Covid, of course it will, but it’s not solving the actual issue. Heck, it might even contribute to it. Do we know the long-term effects of the vaccine? Nope. Noone knows. There are no tests done and we’re simply focused on getting it out as quickly as possible. Same goes with everything else. Just received some antibiotics? It takes about 6 months to recover from the damage done by antibiotics. And even then, the body might not even be back to its pre-antibiotic state.
Unfortunately, even a single course of antibiotics can permanently alter the gut flora. - Chris Kresser
So what I am trying to say is think twice when you make a decision to quickly resolve a health issue. As I have mentioned before in previous newsletters, one thing I wish I would have done is not have back surgery. I was looking for a quick fix, rather than putting in the effort to let the body heal itself, because it is more than capable of doing so.
A lot of times we underestimate and undervalue the capabilities and power that our bodies have. It’s amazing.
Basketball: "1 year into the NBA bubble"
So it has now been a year of NBA basketball in a bubble. Did I get used to it? Not really. Is it fun? Not as much. Am I watching less basketball? Yup.
What it has shown to me is the importance of fans, of emotion, of energy. Someone just made an insane dunk? Nothing. A team just went on a 20-0 run? Nothing. There’s no such thing as momentum anymore, as home-court advantage, and that takes away a lot from the game.
Let’s compare dunking for example. Here’s dunking with a crowd of fans:
And here’s without:
Best Dunks From The NBA Bubble
The difference is astonishing. You could have the best dunk in history and it would essentially get unnoticed and wouldn’t affect your teams performace going forward. No hype, no energy, just carry on playing.
On the flipside, what the NBA has been able to do is still incredible. They barely missed a beat with everything that is going on and we are lucky enough to continously get spoiled with quality basketball every day.
And while it’s not the same, nothing is nowadays, so all I can say is thank you to the NBA and the players for going far and beyond to make this happen. The love is still there.
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