You got your idea, you found your calling, you even made some progress and have an early stage prototype or at least some mockups and a plan. What’s missing is bodies. Amazing people to help you build your product, get your first customers and raise some funding.
I constantly run into founders at this stage in their company’s lifecycle. And their number one question is “where do I find a technical/business/marketing/you-name-it co-founder or team mate?”
I don’t believe that there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. So instead let me give you some food for thought — all of this has worked for me on numerous occasions in the past:
Probably the best source of team mates is your circle of friends — and their friends. Talk about your idea, tell anyone and everyone what you’re looking for and ask them to spread the word. I found a whole bunch of amazing people through recommendations of my friends or even friends of friends who have heard about my startup. Have short job profiles ready which are easy to forward — make it as easy as humanly possible for people to spread the word.
If you have a specific profile for a person in mind (say you need someone who’s an incredibly talented Node.js hacker) — go to where these people are. Attend conferences, reach out to people who blog about the subject, troll Github and see who wrote some spectacular code — and sell the hell out of your company! This is how I found the second half of my team.
Which brings us to the “sell” part. You have to sell the dream. People will follow you if the stakes are high and the vision is clear and ambitious. Always sell. You never know if the person you’re talking to might be a potential customer, an investor or… your next team member.
Good luck! :)