Let’s face it – startups rarely succeed because of their revolutionary ideas.
And even if that’s the case, the entire pile of responsibility and effort lies on the back of the team members and roles within the startup. The truth is, a startup can only be as successful as the team that is founding it – which is something critical to every organization.
And just because there are no rules carved in stone for startups, a lot of potential ideas get the wrong directions and are without solid direction, ending up where they don’t belong. That is why every startup must include a team of people who are ready to jump into the roles and make their time worth it.
Speaking of roles, we are listing the most important ones every startup must-have.
The CEO, labeled as ‘The Dreamer’
The chief executive officer (CEO) is usually the leader in the startup team. However, this does not mean that he is the person that is paid more or has more equity. Simply put, the CEO is the dreamer and the person whose passion goes beyond anyone’s expectation. As such, the CEO leads and the others are willing to follow him.
Before anyone believes in the idea of success, it is the CEO who needs to believe in first. Every successful tech startup must have ‘the dreamer’ as part of it and the person that is always willing to believe in the idea – regardless of how many people out there say it has no future or it is a total failure.
The CPO, labeled as ‘The Visionary’
A clear vision is what every tech startup needs to establish from the very start. Essentially, this falls down to the pile of responsibilities of the CPO (chief product officer) who best knows the products and can actively pinpoint problems and articulate different solutions for them.
The visionary is the primary role in the company’s story. Just like the dreamer, the CPO must have a strong aspirational purpose and an even higher vision for the company. And most importantly, he must know how to transform it into reality and capture the hearts and minds of those inside and outside the startup.
It is true that every tech startup encounters roadblocks – but in order to keep the dream and vision intact – there must be someone who can ground the mission and give it a path to success.
The CTO, labeled as ‘The Doer’
Chief technical officers are a must-have in every tech startup. Simply put, having a CTO in a tech startup is obvious just because of the level of complexity and technology involved. The CTO is labeled as the doer only because he is able to stand up and face the technicalities and potential problems, solving them quickly and actually doing more than dreaming.
Also known as innovation architects, CTOs are the bridge to success from a development side of view. They are the motors that keep the entire operation called a startup active – and are most crucial for tech startups. They are also responsible for hiring web app developers and people with various other skills in the technical domain needed to build the product or service and market it accordingly.
The CSO, labeled as ‘The Hustler’
Every startup should have a hustler on board. This is the role of the CSO – who always aims to sell the product built by the team. Known as the chief sales officer, the CSO is a person responsible for turning a brilliant idea into flowing profits.
At the same time, the ‘hustler’ is among the most important roles at each stage of the tech startup. In fact, in the beginning – the CSO can also be the sales guy in the startup. However, if the startup is turning into a company, later on, someone should be appointed to that role accordingly.
From building processes for sales to automating them, hiring sales reps and account managers as well as forecasting sales – the ‘hustler’ known as the CSO is the person in charge for the fuel that drives the product or service forward.
The CMO, labeled as ‘The Architect’
What every chief marketing officer (CMO) in a successful tech startup must know is how to make the digital product or service the most unique out there – and how to spread the word about it in the best way possible. That is why aside from the main architects behind a tech startup, CMOs are often labeled as the architects that are bringing the solutions together and publishing them to the wider audience.
The truth is, marketing is among the efforts that many of today’s tech startups are short of. This makes startups fail when it comes to their first contact with the audience, or not be acknowledged by them at all.
A great CMO is the architect that transforms an average idea into the most unique one, disrupts industries and helps people discover the service they always needed but did not know that was out there.
The PR guy, labeled as ‘The Connector’
In a world full of startups and ideas, there must be a person who knows how to pull the ropes, connect the dots and give as many shout-outs as possible when introducing a tech startup to the digital marketplace.
And that is where the PR guy fits in. Ideally, this is a person with a lot of knowledge about marketing and even more connections. He knows the editors of the most popular industry (tech) blogs, knows how to get a word or two in the most prestigious tech magazines and how to make influencers mention the startup in some of their reviews.
All tech startups nowadays are in need of a connector in order to foster a network of crucial contacts and connections that will help them build relationships with customers and eventually get major investments and help their startup grow.
We can all agree that besides the revolutionary and breakthrough idea, every startup must have a motivated development team that will make it real. Aside from these crucial roles, there are more people in the story of a successful tech startup – especially the ones with more developer knowledge and the ones in charge of the technicalities.
Knowing that every startup is different and has its own unique challenges, the general roles and responsibilities in all tech startups are basically the same. In the end, it all boils down to having a vision and establishing a culture that is going to adapt to it, dedicate to it and be willing to jump into these roles in the blink of an eye.
Does your startup have the above-mentioned roles – or it may include a different set of ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’?
This article is a part of Handbook:Building a Software Development Team: From Hiring to Talent Development
Liked this chapter?
Awesome! We’ll be adding new content on this topic soon. Want to be notified?
Building a Software Development Team: From Hiring to Talent DevelopmentFollow handbook