Startup Hats From The Trenches

HatsEntrepreneur David Gardner recently published a book on the many hats that startup founders must wear.  Exit Event is posting excerpts from his book,  and they’re worth the read if you’re considering starting a company or in the midst of being a founder.

But what if you’re not the CEO? What if you’re #2 or #3?  What about the various hats you’ll need to wear?  Here’s a few that I wear:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Account Management
  • Interviewing new hires
  • Customer Service
  • Systems Administrator (yikes!)
  • Project Manager
  • Product Manager
  • 3-6-9-12 Month Planning

This is a very tactical list, which differs from the business founder who is thinking about fundraising, team building, partnerships, and board management.

More important than listing any of these items out is the underlying message to any one considering working at a startup.

  • This is your reality.  You can’t be a specialist.  That’s good news for us Expert Generalists.
  • Embrace the uncertainty that comes along with doing jobs you have little experience doing.  That part takes mettle and moxie.
  • Believe in your company, market, team and product to know that you won’t have to perform these tasks for eternity.  You’ll grow the company and get help.
  • You will have fun and you will learn.  You’re forced to pick up new skills, and despite the short-term angst and stress the learning curve may cause, it is fun.

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