What were the first five hires after your startup reached product market fit?

My first 5 hires at EchoSign, beyond core team once we had paying customers and first, if early, product-marketing fit:

  • #1:  Full-time sales rep at $8k-ish MRR.  Should have hired two.  Should have hired him even early.  Hired once we were closing > 1 new, non self-service customer a week.
  • #2.  A great, paid, full-time-ish intern.  A great one is a terrific force multiplier.
  • #3:  VP of Marketing.  I hired at $20k MRR.  Should have hired even earlier.  Because all she had to do was improve our process and get us a few other good leads to pay for herself.
  • #4:  Head of Customer Support — a veteran.  I can’t believe I waited so long.  This made our customers 50x happier, and I didn’t have to force everyone in the company to take so many shifts in support to help out the untrained resource(s) i had staffing it before.
  • #5:  VP of Sales at $1.5m ARR-ish.  I should have had 2 fully scaled reps first.  But in the end it was the right time, I just needed someone that was a better fit for my product, ACV, and stage.

I should have hired them all, together, earlier.  They were all accretive so in the end I didn’t save any money by staggering the hires.  Even if I felt the pressure of not running out of money.

I also waited way, way, way too long to hire into customer success.  I had support do this at first.  Rookie error.

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Published on March 20, 2016

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