Together vs Alone: Thoughts on building a team

September 12, 2020

We live in an incredible time in human history where the basic infrastructure for many of us is so good.

In today’s world it is possible to get ahead and achieve a lot all by yourself. You can be a writer with 1mn readers, a social media star with 1mn followers, or a SaaS business with $1mn in ARR. 

That’s the mindset Sankalp and I both embodied when we first started on our journey. We had faith that just the 2 of us working together towards our shared goal is enough to get us really far.

Thankfully that faith turned into reality and lead to the success of SuperLemon.

Challenging our beliefs

But any great mindset or philosophy is only as great as the people who practice it, and people are always evolving and getting better. Mindset and philosophy evolves too.

The people in our lives who believed in us and wanted us to do even better challenged us on our beliefs of doing things amongst just the 2 of us.

One of them said - we are setting small goals, because we are afraid of hiring. If we had the confidence that we can put together a great team, we would think bigger and set higher goals.

We knew in our hearts that the challenge was genuine. Due to our poor experiences with hiring in the past, we started favouring the path of least resistance, which is to not try to hire anyone. Automatically our goals would only be as lofty as how much the two of us can achieve together.

We had to change this about ourselves. And so we immediately set out to hire someone amazing into our team. It was an exercise to prove to ourselves that we have what it takes to do this.

An updated mindset

Less than a month later, we hired an amazing first engineer and have made an offer to another. This exercise has turned out way better than we anticipated, and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. It allowed us to dream bigger.

Our mindset and philosophy has thus been updated - We can get far in today’s world just by ourselves, but if we want to get really really far with our next venture Delight.chat, we need more than just the two of us. 

While we suddenly haven't started wanting to build a 400 person company, our mindset has evolved enough to accept and understand how building a team of 5-15 people could produce a 100x result of what we had previously set out to achieve.

People on the inside

We need people on the inside (a team) who are aligned with our shared vision, and working together using their mind and abilities towards achieving that goal.

It's not just having more hands in the engineering team in building the product, or marketing team in creating content or distribution channels.

Their consciousness, ideas, problem solving abilities, attitude and values get added into a collective pool with our own. The sum is greater than the parts.

The people joining our team are entrepreneurial minds whose values align with ours, who want to build and grow something new and challenging from the ground up, learn from the experience, and eventually start their own companies. We will be their first supporters when they do. Psst, we are hiring.

People on the outside

We need people on the outside (advisors, investors) who are aligned with our end goal of building a great company, and are going out of their way in helping us get there.

They align with our mindset of building a real business that thrives without burning $1 for 70 cents, delivers real value to end users, and grows to a reasonably large size while being profitable.

Their experience observing other entrepreneurs and companies will help us avoid common pitfalls, make better connections like key hires, and open up doors that we can't even imagine today, because we don't know those doors exist. Serendipity.

Onwards

I feel incredibly lucky and grateful that we have a handful of such people who believe in us, and who are now working with us towards achieving our shared goal.

Together, we will reach farther than we previously dared to imagine.

Off we go towards the next milestone in this great adventure.

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