4 Reasons We Built A Team Before A Product

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When it comes to startups, the typical model for building a business looks something like this:

  1. Build a minimum viable product.
  2. Test and validate the idea.
  3. Begin building the product.
  4. Start acquiring customers.
  5. Raise funding.
  6. Start hiring employees and building out a team.

One thing in particular stands out from that list: people are last.

But ask any founder or CEO about the key to their company’s growth and success and you’ll most likely get this answer: “It’s all about the team. We had great people.” 

So at Driftt, after our fundraising announcement in January 2015, we made a decision to go all in on people and build a team first, and then focus on a product. Here’s why:

We want to build a company that lasts

We haven’t been bashful about our goal at Driftt. We want to build the next anchor company here in Boston, and we can’t do that without the best people. Startups are very hard, and they become impossible if you don’t love the people that you’re working with every day.

Autonomy is one of our core values

Autonomy is something we talk about a lot at Driftt. It’s one of our core values, and we’re passionate about creating an environment with a high degree of autonomy, similar to the ones David and Elias built at Performable and HubSpot. Autonomy at Driftt means that employees have ownership and decision making power in their particular area (marketing, engineering, design) and the ability to deliver something that directly impacts our customers. But this type of environment is not for everyone, and autonomy does not work without the right people.

It helps us attract the right type of people

In the early stages of a startup, things are always changing and there isn’t a lot a of direction. Some people thrive in this stage of a company’s life. Others might be a better fit for the predictability of a big company. We want all of our early employees to be able to lead teams themselves if needed and jump right in with minimal direction and guidance. Building a team before a product has helped us zero in on the employees who will build the foundation for our future.

Does this sound like you? We’re hiring across all parts of the business. Get in touch.

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