Startups and Youth - 5 Questions and Answers

Vivek posted a very interesting post on Venturewoods and here is my comment on the same.


This post could be true for me I could change the location to Mumbai.

Comments by other people have been really interesting and here are my 2 cents on the same.

1. How do you balance the pay packet for a potential employee? Please give two scenarios - (a) You are self funded. (b) You are financially backed by an angel or a VC.
A: If I was self funded I would not have a lot of money to give away. I would be forced to look at things like equity or just share in profits. If it was a VC funded, I would have made adjustments for employee costs in my business plan and hence I would have money. Also my understanding tells me that most VC funded startups HAVE a lot of money.

2. Would you consider the prior experience of a candidate from a different domain, or would you simply consider him/her to be a fresher from your company’s perspective?

A: Tough one. I think depends on what person brings to the table. He could bring his experience, his learnings, his background, his perspective, his contacts, even things as intangible as his enthusiasm. If he brings something that I desire, I will make sure I will recruit him.

Talking about fresher or experienced, in a startup personally I dont think I need to have that kind of categorization for people. I want people for skills, not for showing off. Moment I start talking like that I become a lazy, slow moving company.

3. What kind of commitment would you expect from the new hire? What kind of notice periods/bonds would you look at?
A: No notice period. No bonds. Commitment - believe in the idea and evangelize that.

4. What are the legal aspects which you would look into before hiring someone? Would you do extensive background check on the candidate or rely on references or just hire him/her for what value they can bring in?

A: I would want to hire without checks. For me checks waste a lot of time and for a startup, time to market is really crucial. Once we start working, we can always figure out in due course if the person was appropriate or not. And if at a later stage, he is found inappropriate, we can easily part ways.

5. Would you have an age criteria to hire? In other words would you believe that a 21 year old could be as valuable as a 40 year old?
A: No age criteria. Yes a 21 year old can be very valuable. How? You just asked 5 questions that a 40 year old would have never asked. And when you are 21, you are not scared to ask those questions. And thats a huge things to have. There are more areas like understanding of the market from a teenager's perspective, contacts with more fresh minds and top of everything else enthusiasm and confidence that young people have.

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