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Founding Voices: Prioritizing Fit Over Skills

Originally part of our Founding Voices newsletter series. Read more insights here.

Prioritizing Fit Over Skills

Your company starts lean, but over time your business needs change, responsibilities accrue and growing your team goes from a possibility to a necessity.

Take a big-picture perspective when looking for a key hire. Skills and experience are important, but it’s imperative that new team members integrate well with your culture.

 

“We value culture first and experience second. So we’re looking for people who want to join us – they don’t have to be like us, but they have to be good people. Curious, willing to put their own needs aside and put the team’s needs first. Only after we get that in a candidate do we look for the amazing A-plus skill set.”

TRACY SUN
Co-founder and SVP Seller Experience, Poshmark

Look for people who operate on a similar wavelength, and agree on how you’ll communicate, treat one another, and divide responsibilities. This is how you build a team you enjoy working with, and camaraderie is vital when you’re knee-deep in the melee of startup life.

Pull candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. Seek hires with different perspectives and experiences to create healthy debate and avoid echo chambers. This discourse makes your organization stronger.

“A good team is well rounded – like-minded enough that you don’t fight every step of the way, but diverse enough so you don’t develop blind spots,” says Navin Chaddha, Managing Director of Mayfield. “Finding this balance is not easy. That’s why providing access to our network is part of the investment we make in an entrepreneur.”

Navin Chaddha

NAVIN CHADDHA
Managing Director

Enterprise, Consumer, Semiconductors, Web3 

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