How to find the perfect partner in crime – Advice from a serial entrepreneur & investor
As a family man, serial entrepreneur, and investor, Ohad Gilad feels the need for having people around you who make you feel like you can fly. And after starting multiple successful businesses, Gilad knows a thing or two about who to look for.
As a co-founder of tech community 42Workspace, VC firm Keadyn, and many other initiatives, and described as someone who knows everyone, it may not come as a surprise that his endeavours are built on collaboration and finding the right people to work with. To unpack exactly how Gilad does it, we picked his brain, to present three tactics anyone about to embark on the start of a project can benefit from.
#1: To find what’s out there, first look inside
The combination of knowing who you are and who you’re looking for is a great gift for finding the perfect match. Sensing such needs means that you have good introspective insights into what to expect and what others can expect from you – and that’s a handy skill as you continue to collaborate with more and more people.
Gilad remembers looking for a place with like-minded tech founders and investors. “We realized who we were and this got us to think that there was no place for people like us. This is when 42Workspace was born. After we started 42, I realized I also wanted to reach impact on a broader scale. Which taught me that I needed others who shared those goals. This eventually resulted in We Tech Rotterdam.
“Sticking to what you stand for as a startup is not always easy. Especially in the early days when you get hard needed requests from customers, but who don’t fit in your community, so you need to let them go . Pushing forward rigorously, however, will eventually lead to word of mouth and brand awareness on your chosen topic. People will start to refer others to you, the media will write about you and mention you as an expert, and customers stay because they want to be affiliated with you.”
#2: Align the mindset first, skills come second
Every startup founder knows how extensive the company’s to do list can be. Tasks that need to be checked of as soon as possible, meaning not tomorrow, not in a week. Now. Because of this, you might feel you need to hire as quickly as possible. As long as someone can do what’s needed. However, more often than not, in the long run you’ll find out it’s not working out. You’re not aligned on the goals. Which is why Ohad suggests to look for the mindset first and let skills follow.
“The startup life is hard and running a business is a lot of work. Collaboration can make or break your journey. The peaks are higher when shared. The lows are less deep when you have a partner to fall back on. Great founding teams will eventually bounce back from a minor or major setback. That’s why, as an investor, I look at the team first and at Keadyn, we even hired an expert to quantify a team’s personalities and skills qualifications. A positive sign is when founders look for advice. You don’t have to follow all of it, but you can at least consider what others have experienced.”
#3: Different skills make you go faster and further
Before things take off, founders need to wear many hats. This makes it tough to let go of certain tasks when it makes sense to do so. Because you’ve heavily invested and you know that at least shit gets done, when you do it. You have to realize that hard work gets you far, but a complementary team and a healthy company culture will take you so much further.
“From the start outsource as much as possible. Not specifically to outsiders, but to cofounders or employees. You have to focus on what you’re good at and what ramps up growth. At Keadyn we have experts in tech, metrics, fundraising, marketing, and whatever skillset founders need, so we can judge their strong sides and weak points. We also use these points to create the basics of the roadmap for the next year”
“This doesn’t always come naturally,” Gilad recalls. “When we just entered the VC business, we didn’t realize how important marketing was. Now, we have a track record and a portfolio to show for. Now, both startups and other VCs know how to find us. But that took a lot of events, pitch competitions, networking, marketing, and an awesome team and many cups of coffee.”
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