5 Ways to Optimize Your Startup Team: Lessons from Startup Weekend Idaho

July 5, 2012

5:00 pm

On the second day of Idaho’s fourth Startup Weekend, doors opened at 8:30 a.m. at the University of Phoenix for the teams to reconvene and work on their product. At the end of the day, they gave an update on their projects and discussed opportunities and challenges that arose during the development process.

After dinner, participants heard from Ken Holsinger, startup veteran and CEO of Mindshare. Holsinger focused his remarks on how to build a world-class startup team, and he had 5 main points:

Scenes from Startup Weekend Idaho

1. Know thyself. When starting his company, Holsinger approached a variety of people to help him understand how his strengths and weaknesses should influence his approach to team building. He explained that a careful examination of your strengths, weaknesses, and skills will help you find the right teammates to complement you.

2. Define culture. Your culture sets the foundation for your startup’s organizational structure, which impacts your company’s success. Holsinger also encouraged attendees to look for investors that are a good fit for their startup’s culture.

3. Assess how your team works toward goals. By understanding how your teammates break down problems and work toward goals, you can adapt your management style to empower your team. Be flexible and look for ways to support your team’s work style.

4. Identify core values. Understand the values that drive your team and integrate them into your company. Having core values for your team to rally around will help your startup overcome challenges and have success.

5. Inventory skills. Carefully assess each team member’s background and expertise when first starting your company. Although many skills may overlap, there is often a deeper set of core competencies that can be leveraged to meet specific challenges or opportunities facing your startup. By understanding each person’s skills, you can more efficiently assign tasks and keep your burnout rate low.

Guest author Malcolm Hong is a writer and tech advocate with a passion for innovation. He’s connected to entrepreneurism and technology through his work managing the activities of the Idaho Technology Council, the state’s largest member-driven association that fosters the growth of Idaho’s tech ecosystem. Originally from Hawaii, Malcolm quickly realized that Idaho does a great job of growing startups, not just potatoes. Follow Malcolm on Twitter: @IDTechCouncil

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Malcolm Hong is a writer and tech advocate with a passion for innovation. He’s connected to entrepreneurism and technology through his work managing the activities of the Idaho Technology Council, the state’s largest member-driven association that fosters the growth of Idaho’s tech ecosystem. Originally from Hawaii, Malcolm quickly realized that Idaho does a great job of growing startups, not just potatoes. Follow Malcolm on Twitter: @IDTechCouncil

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