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  • Paolo Pironi

Startup Design: The Key Step Most Mess Up (from Series A Onwards)

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

From Series A onwards, Startups must undergo a quantum shift or die.

Your scrappy group of like-minded, resourceful garage dwellers must now transform into a structured, multi-disciplinary, multi-layered org.

Startups go bankrupt at Series B or later due to mistakes made at this stage, which I call Startup Design: it needs to be flexible but structured, iterative but deliberate.



Founders must answer key questions:


  • What functional Managers do I need (Sales & BD, Marketing & PR, Customer Success, Ops, HR, etc.) and when?


  • Do I (a) promote people internally or (b) hire externally?

  • (a) How do I ensure they have the management training they need?

  • (b) How do I screen them for disciplines I’m not an expert in?

  • (b) How do I onboard them to the company culture while leaving them free to express their full expertise?


  • How do I maintain visibility and control without stifling productivity and innovation?


  • How do I execute all of this to ensure I’m well positioned to raise the next round of funding?

As we all know, 90% of Startups are destined to FAIL. I caution that the bulk of those that go bankrupt have FAILED at Startup Design in the early stages.



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