He wants to join a start-up and believes he can help guide the direction of the company and partake in the spoils of success. He asked for my insight and experience – here are some things to know: a startup typically begins with 3 people, and then expands to 5 before hiring beyond that.
The nucleus of the team initially consists of:
These are the founders – the ones who put it all on the line and who also get the founder stock.
Next, you’ll get the Accountant/VP Finance/CFO – the implementer of systems and processes, the genius at numbers and master at raising capital.
The 5th person to join the core team is the wise mentor who provides experience to the company.
Somewhere a long way down the road we find the data analytics person. He/she will be viewed more as an employee than someone who was part of the founding team – and the equity ownership will strongly reflect this. In the future, he/she will also most likely not be part of the executive team. The bottom line is that unless the company becomes highly successful, the payout for the data analytics person will be small.
What will make you successful in the future? What will make that data analytics person a person of influence – someone who will be viewed as vital to any organization rather than someone who has a functional role and is easily replaceable?
I think you must become someone with a personal brand, who attracts opportunities rather than works in a functional job.
It’s all about creating a personal brand, becoming a key person of interest, negotiating the correct compensation package of salary, bonus and equity and thinking long term.
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