Those Key Early Employees

Much is often said about the founders of a company, including on this blog. And they seem to receive a preponderance of the recognition for the ultimate success of an endeavor. Of course, it’s obvious that these individuals are vital to a startup. However, I think that the people often overlooked are those key first hires. Yes, the management team has a great affect on an organization, regardless of its size or stage. But the first individual- and team- contributors brought into an organization help set the tone for the culture in a profound way. One single strong and vibrant personality can energize the office. Someone’s quirkyness can add real character to the group. Those first five to ten non-management hires in a startup help set the tone for how things get done and how people behave while they’re doing it. Being an early hire at a startup gives an individual the ability to make tremendous impact on an organization as it grows – and both the founders and those hires should know it.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.

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