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Building your ‘Team Zero’ with Ankush Vats

There is no such thing as a solo entrepreneur. Nobody who’s ever built a business from scratch did it alone. It is crucial that you are particular and strategic about your team. If you’re just starting a business, this is probably something that you’ve thought about.

In the Founder’s Meet organized by StartupLanes, Ankush Vats talks about how a tech startup can build its team zero. He is the CTO and founding partner of ‘hypd’. Your ‘team zero’ is the first team that you will hire and will be responsible for building the first product that you roll out to the entire world. Ankush stresses on the following core points while building your team zero:

Finding and Onboarding the right talent: The people that you hire for your startup should have a clear understanding of your vision and what you want from them. Ankush points out that many startups look for several skills in a person while hiring, which is not the best approach. Ensure that the people you are hiring have complementing skills in your team and look for one area that they excel in that is critical to your startup.

While onboarding people in your team zero, make sure your job profile and job description are very specific in terms of the skills you are looking for in a candidate.

Establish your culture: After you have hired the right candidate for the profile. As everyone comes from a different background, it is highly unlikely that will have the same culture set. Therefore, you need to establish and inculcate your culture within your team and ensure that everyone comes together to contribute to the startup. Ankush suggests the best way to do this is by providing them with responsibilities without repercussions if things don’t work out.

Being agile: Ankush points out that being agile doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to always follow a to-do list. It means being able to learn, reinvent yourself, and adapt to the changes that are happening in real-time.

Introspection: While it is important to move fast and make progress, it is equally important to take a break and introspect to look at the bigger picture.

“Never be afraid of the new”, says Ankush. If your team is not afraid of the new, they will adapt to new changes. He also adds that your team needs to trust your vision and that you are going to lead them to that vision. They should trust your skillset and only then they will be able to give their best. Your team zero will decide whether your startup will survive or wither away. So hire wisely!

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