Friday, June 25, 2010

Special Forces, Regular Army and Start ups

From time to time I advise start ups on mostly technical matters, inevitably they ask me for referrals to hire engineers or help with editing their job postings.

Typically they email me a very detailed and specific job description for a, say, Data Architect or Ajax messaging programmer or Java Engineer complete with an obscure list of libraries and technologies that the candidate expected to be master in (probably those technologies were suggested by their VC to them in their last meeting)

Start ups should be built like special forces, with a few brave and smart generalists with a lot of heart and "get it done" attitude, not by deep specialists in any certain area - I am talking about the first few engineers here - a statistical modeler with no programming skills or a Data Architect with focus on data replication makes a fine contractor for a short time to advise your core engineering team, but should not be one the first 5 engineers you hire.


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