The Gradience
The Impact of First Hires on Seed Stage Companies, with Matt Birnbaum, Talent Partner at Pear VC
July 19, 2022
Creating blueprints or playbooks for founders is one of VCs' numerous responsibilities regarding talent. Operationalizing assists you learn how to support several companies simultaneously. Therefore, rather than spending five to ten hours with a founder, you spend thirty to sixty minutes with a playbook or blueprint. Finding and hiring the most qualified candidates for a position does not adhere to a "one size fits all" model. Early-stage businesses need VCs that can rapidly examine their existing conditions and key obstacles and then use this knowledge to develop a strategy that matches their specific needs.
Those first critical hires are the biggest lever that accelerates a company's growth at the seed stage. To make your initial hiring, you must consider the company's mission, vision, and product roadmap. However, to fill your first positions, you must know what you need to get there, How will the next five to ten hires shape the company, and what is the best way to prioritize those hires, among other things

In this episode of The Gradience Podcast, Nigel is joined by Matt Birnbaum, Talent Partner at Pear VC.

They cover:

[ 00:07:15 ] - The biggest lever that accelerates a company's growth at the seed stage is those first critical hires

[ 00:08:34 ] - To make your initial hiring, you need to take the following factors into account:

[ 00:08:41 ] - To fill your first positions, you must address the following questions:

[ 00:10:50 ] - When going into any conversation with startup founders, your goal should be to seek to understand their current state and approach

[ 00:11:45 ] - One trap you should avoid as a VC is being "super prescriptive with the advice you give founders."

[ 00:11:58 ] - One of the things a lot of the VCs have to do specifically in talent is find ways to create blueprints or playbooks founders can use as a guide

[ 00:12:13 ] - With the aid of operationalizing, you can figure out how to support several companies at the same time. Using a playbook or blueprint, instead of spending five to ten hours with a founder, you can spend thirty minutes to an hour

[ 00:12:33 ] - There isn't a "one size fits all model" for finding and hiring the best people for a position

[ 00:12:37 ] - The most effective VCs can swiftly assess a company's present conditions and key issues, then use that knowledge to chart a course tailored to meet the company's specific needs

[ 00:13:40 ] - One of the issues that venture capitalists have is determining how to give what has to be a high-touch solution generated from a very deep understanding of a business and, as a consequence, construct the best way forward at scale

[ 00:14:50 ] - Founders working with VCs must grasp the VC's incentives for assisting them in building a team

[ 00:22:38 ] - At this seed-stage level, you should optimize for quality candidates, a combination of speed, quality, and time
If youโ€™re interested in getting team building tips from a successful founder, want a peek into being a founder in an unexplored niche, want to learn how to create an organic culture for your team, interested in knowing what it's like to be a founder in an unfamiliar industry, want to build a cross-functional team and a team with the right atmosphere, tune in to this episode of The Gradience Podcast, a Podcast by Build Talent.

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About the Show

โ€œThe Gradienceโ€ is a podcast by Build Talent & hosted by Nigel Robinson, wherein each episode, weโ€™ll be speaking with a founder or expert as we discuss the art & science of hiring leaders, why it matters, and how you can keep up. 

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Previous guests include: Riley Ennis of Freenome, Matt Birnbaum of Pear VC, Derek Lo of Medallion, Chandan Lodha of CoinTracker, Jennifer Smith of Scribe

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