There’s talk in the startup world of needing a Minimum Viable Team - ie - the people and skills needed to get a startup off the ground.  Solo-founding is often talked about as something to avoid as there is more chance of succeeding as a team.

From my experience the whole thing of working with other founders just hasn’t worked. Things get complicated. Life changes. It makes things difficult and very stressful with the business.  I’ve tried it more than once. It didn’t work out. The experiences have been great as a learning process, but I can’t just help thinking that I’m better off just getting on with things.

However, I’m still a mini-startup. We still have needs to grow. I still need a team, a great team - one that I am happy working with and with people who are awesome and inspiring to work with.

The Minimum Viable Team

A MVT usually needs at least 2 people to help get a startup off the ground.  The initial team takes on the following roles:

  • Outside - business development, getting out of the building, meeting/speaking to customers
  • Experience - creating the user experience, design, content, marketing
  • Builder - writing the code and all the technical bits

Of course, being a startup, roles often overlap.  So whilst there are three core areas, this may initially be split between 2 people.  If the business grows then the people can take on more defined roles.

My Minimum Viable Team

Of course this got me thinking about my team.  I am the one running the show, but I still need others to help get this show on the road.  Over time I have built a small team around me that help me in different ways.  They are compensated in different ways too.  They are all valuable to me and the business and I honestly try my best to keep them happy in their roles.

They are not strictly my Minimum Viable Team (I am sure some people out there will be telling me this is not a MVT), but on the other hand, I don’t think I could do nearly as well without them.

The picture above is my attempt at illustrating things 🙂 It shows me in the middle as I have my fingers in all of the roles.  I’m also the one who has most contact with the customers.

I’ve put Design _and Tech_ under builder because these are both important to the things we build.   For design I have a faithful freelance designer, he builds one of our products (a publication) that we produce a few times a year. I work with a local and specialist WordPress company for all my tech needs.

Production,  Community _and Admin_ I feel these are all pretty key to delivering the “experience’.

They all overlap so much. Without the volunteers we have to help us with building the community, we wouldn’t be able to do the events we do. Or the publications we make. And the admin process (from things like updating content to accounts) helps the process all glue together to deliver an experience that our customers/community want.

A Different Way Of Looking At Things

This is really just trying to look at things in a different perspective. Startups and businesses take a lot of time to get off the ground (usually).  Sometimes it feels like people get carried away with having to have this and that, perhaps getting lost along the way.  Here I am just showing how it works for me, right now.

Tomorrow it will change! 🙂