Different Folks for Different Strokes... The Hipster, the Hacker and the Hustler

Which Are You...and Which Do You Need?

HHH hats steve harrison2

As we launch Elevator's Founder Fusion Series of events to generate opportunities for potential Co-Founders to meet and collaborate, we invite Friend of Elevator, collaborator on the content of our Elevator Accelerator Programme and Scottish Enterprise Project Manager, Steve Harrison to the blog today to enlighten us about the Co-Founder concepts of The Hipster, the Hacker and the Hustler.

steve harrison scottish enterprise hipster hacker hustler

If you are a founder of new emerging venture you know the truth of how many different hats you wear. You started the day as chief designer working on the user experience (or UX) of your business, in an hour you will switch to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as you talk to the bank about your need for borrowing and then straight into Chief Salesperson as you go meet a client and discuss a new exciting opportunity that you want to bid for. All before lunch (which you will skip in favour of being Chief Marketer posting various social media articles and commentaries).

Recognise yourself? Unfortunately, if you are a Sole Founder this is your world. But does it need to be this way?

The facts are startling...

The good news first if you are starting a venture in Aberdeen then you have a much better chance of success (still trading in 5 years time) than nearly everywhere else in Britain. (ref 1)

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So if you haven’t yet decided if the entrepreneurial rollercoaster is for you then Aberdeen is a great place to start a venture (and the fab folks at Elevator have helped nearly everyone and can help you...just ask)

But the bad news is that if you are a lonesome cowgirl (or cowboy) then you might find it brings that many more hard days (and nights) than if you had some 'friends' to share the burdens (and moments of joy/glasses of fizz) with.

Just from my own poll of asking the founders I work with/know, most of the Sole Founders have more dark nights and calls of woe than those where the pain is shared. But don't take my word for it, go to a Founder Fusion Event and ask around, do your own fact gathering.

Which leads to one of the most asked question that founders ask me:
How do I find a co-founder and what type of co-founder do I need? (the most asked question if your curious is: 'Do you know anyone who might invest in my venture'....try here)

Before I answer this question I like to propose a test for any co-founder:

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Come the zombie apocalypse would you want them on your side? (ref 3)

If not, or you are ambivalent then at best think of them as a staff member rather than a co-founder.

So, Co-Founders

Building a startup that scales at pace is (very) hard. It requires the ability to do many things well with scarce experience, often things that conflict (for instance big picture visionary that excels in the detail...) and require different personality types (people friendly and yet data obsessive’s are rare). Add to this not having sufficient resources (or any funds) to buy in capability or capacity and the role of a co-founder becomes clearer:

To help strengthen the founding team of your venture and improve its chances of success.

To help with this the following classes/types of people are often described...see if you can find which one most fits yourself and which you feel you most need to build your dream team & increase your chance of hitting it big ? (ref 4)

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Makers & Hackers ...Make things that people want ( need or desire) is crucial to success. Whether it is the esoteric world of Python and R (coders) or the alchemic arts of the distillers...someone has to produce something great.....in order for there to be something to sell.

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Sellers & Hustlers ...Selling ideas, products, service’s to others. Excelling in building relationships from a weak introduction, or maybe even hunting out a prospect and developing a dialogue from zero...for your start up to survive and then thrive you need an ever increasing sales pipeline and clients....

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Designers & Hipsters... Understanding what makes your client tick, their pet peeves, their likes and turning that into great experiences, screens and products. Fabulous at understanding why colour choice in brand design is crucial as well as how to increase the clickability of blog posts...ensuring that you are making what people need and continuing to make what people want and desire.

Which hat is most comfortable for you? Which hat do you need most in your team? Throughout November sign up to our events and come see if you can find someone to share your dream (or to help them with theirs).

Head along to one of the many Founder Fusion Events taking place from October to December 2017 HERE:

Including a workshop with Jules Lancastle on the Hipster, Hacker and Hustler on the 20th of October HERE

I look forward to seeing and working with your Dream Team in Jan 2018...

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