Create a company: 2 - Find the best people and trust them
One of the most important part of creating a company is getting the best people with you for what you want to do.
When I launched B2L, two friends, Antoine Bello and François Lamotte who launched Ubiqus, hosted me in their company as I did not have the means to rent offices. I had an "office" in front of the lift entrance. Launching a web agency, I naturally thought I needed to hire a good engineer as I only have a business school background.
Hiring an engineer from a good technical school when you are the only employee in the company, when you have no offices and three months of cash ahead of you and no references is not an easy task. Finally I could convince Vincent Maurin to come to the interview and I remember it very well, as I was actually taking an interview, not him. This was normal as I had basically nothing. I had to convince I would get my first clients, I would have enough cash to pay his salary.
The person who probably impressed me the most was Jean-Jacques Borie (I am getting him blogging... but did not start yet). He sent me a CV at the very beginning of B2L that was quite empty I should say without offending him I hope. I was one of the few that received him in interview because his CV was expressing passion. Most people at that time did not have Internet experience so experience mattered less than passion and passion to learn. Jean-Jacques was reading an Internet developtment book every night and learnt as fast as crazy, he quickly became the best technical person of the team and the fastest to add value for our clients. The lesson here is be careful with large and full CVs, I have made a lot of mistakes when I forgot that passion was the most important.
Another important thing is to provide your team with vision, vision about what your long term aim is, your own passion in building the company. Managing a team is not about giving orders, it is about sharing a long term view with your team and their motivation comes from your own passion. If you are not very highly motivated yourself, do not expect your team to be motivated.
Trust. I have never checked anybody's work or working time. My only concern is result. This is especially important when I experienced having employees working on a distant site, you just cannot check anything but results. I always had good results with distance work and will start it again with my new company. The more trust you give to your team, the better the results.
By Loic Le Meur.
Andy G. Rodie