Building vs. Selling
I’ve been receiving a lot of emails lately from friends asking how to get involved with a startup. Aside from referring them to some great posts by Alex Taub and Eric Friedman, I often start by emphasizing the value of these words:
“you’re either building, selling, or leaving.”
As an early hire you’re either part of the team responsible for innovating a new product, or you’re part of the team charged with acquiring (and retaining) users, customers, or anything else that will help keep the lights on for another month. You need to be prepared to do anything.
Sure, the titles may vary. You might be hired for marketing, sales, or customer support, but it is critical to understand that each of these share a common goal: help the company make it to the next level. Everyone at a successful, growing company is a salesman of sorts. The sooner you realize this and own it, the more valuable you are to a young, agile team. If you don’t know how the role you’re applying for will help sell the dream, you’re wasting your time.