What is the skill set needed for an early stage startup?

I have been working with social media startups for more than a decade, since hi5.com in 2005. As an engineer, the most important thing is to have a do-it-all mindset. Be ready to say yes to the boss, keep your head down, code and learn. The startups are fun because it?s build by brilliant people around you. There is a reason why venture capitalists invest in founders, mostly because they have belief in them. More now than ever, the startups are looking for people that are just ninjas, the jedis.

As an entrepreneur, the skill set goes beyond engineer, because you have to learn how to deal with investors. This book is written for entrepreneurs and investors, but with the mindset that it?s going to help you communicate better. There are many pain points, not just from technical and business, but personal. Just being technical doesn?t save anyone anymore. You have to have great communication skills and deep understanding. Many investors are on twitter and using very deep communication strategy. Rather imposing own strategy on others, see what they are doing. No need to have competition over styles and methodologies, rather the understanding is a skill that needs to be learned.

The cost effectiveness is key for early stage startups. What is the burn rate? How much revenue? How much resources do we need? Which investor is going to pay for what? Based on that, a release plan can be formed and milestones can be met. Pure transparency between investors and founders is needed, to make sure the startup has enough to run, but not over. There is a huge competition nowadays for startups around who gets the largest round. This might not be best for the company, if they don?t spend it wisely. Over hiring is a major problem.

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