Building the Founding Team: What are the Ideal Roles?

Building the Founding Team: What are the Ideal Roles?

MAKO Design + Invent – February 23, 2021

Do invention makers in Austin need a co-founder to start a business?

You have a product idea, you validated it and you feel pretty confident you can take it to the next level. But you’re not sure if you need or want help doing it.

Jobs needed Woz and Wayne to start Apple.

Gates needed Allen to start Microsoft.

Microsoft building.

Yes, even the best of us need help. The team makeup is an important element when it comes to successful startups. Because chances are, you won’t be able to do it all by yourself. From sales to marketing to engineering, there are too many areas for a single person to specialize in.

For example, invention makers in Austin coming from financial backgrounds will probably need help with building and designing the product. If you have a product idea with no way to build it, then it stays an idea forever.

Similarly, If you’re an inventor exclusively with an engineering background… well you’ll definitely need a hand in communications and sales.

No offense.

On the other hand, it’s not impossible to start as a solo founder – just take a look at Mako Design. But we’re definitely a unique case. Even though we don’t have a technical co-founder, we’re definitely “Hacker” heavy (keep on reading, it’ll make sense). Because of the sheer variety and number of product ideas that are always in production at Mako, we need engineers and designers from a number of backgrounds and fields who are equipped to bring our client’s dream idea to life.

So when invention makers in Austin need a co-founder, who is the right person for the job?

Invention Makers in Austin discussing a project.

The Three Ideal Types of Co-founders for Invention Makers in Austin

Back in 2012 Rei Inamoto, previously the Chief Creative Officer at AKQA and currently a Founding Partner of I&CO, gave his insight on the ideal roles for every startup: “To run an efficient team, you only need three people: a Hipster, a Hacker, and a Hustler.”

When invention makers in Austin start looking for a co-founder, they should consider what areas of expertise they are missing.

Hipster.
Contribution: To make the product attractive.

These are the people who look forward to finding out next year’s Pantone Color of the Year more than the start of the winter holidays. Yes, the Hipster is the creative genius whose goal is to make the final product more attractive than all other competitors. Because of their design first approach, you’ll often see them in regular discussions with the Hustler to ensure design ideas align with business objectives.

Hustler.
Contribution: To grow the business.

For most invention makers in Austin, this is probably you. Hustlers live to serve the customer. It might sound harsh but it’s true. Because the question they ask themselves before taking any action is “is this what our customers want?” Indeed, every action they take must be conducive to business growth. They are the visionaries who will often lead the sales and marketing initiatives to get as many products into as many hands as possible.

Hacker.
Contribution: To build the best possible product.

The Hacker is the meat and potatoes of your business. This is your lead engineer who builds your product and understands it inside and out. Whatever the function, the Hacker should ensure the customer has the best experience possible. They are all about continuously improving and upgrading the product.

For you invention makers in Austin, which role do you fit in? Tell us in the comments below!

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