Startup Founders Don’t Need To Be An Expert At Everything

March 20, 2023 2 mins read

Some first-time entrepreneurs believe they need to be experts in every area of their business. It’s a common misconception that can lead to unnecessary stress and an inability to focus on the primary goal: executing the business plan.

When starting a business, it’s crucial to understand that as the founder and CEO, you don’t have to know everything. No one expects you to be the best in every aspect of your business. Instead, you’re expected to be a generalist who can make things happen. Your role as a founder is to execute your vision and strategy, and to have the unwavering conviction and belief in your idea that will inspire your team and investors.

The key is to know your strengths and weaknesses and to build a team that complements them. You should hire people who are experts in areas where you lack expertise. That’s the beauty of being a startup founder; you get to build a team that can help you achieve your vision.

In the early days of Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak knew they couldn’t do it alone. Jobs famously said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Jobs and Wozniak were generalists who were able to build a team of experts that could bring their vision to life.

Another example is Slack, a company that was founded by Stewart Butterfield. Butterfield had no prior experience in the messaging app industry, but he had a vision for what he wanted to create. He built a team of experts in engineering, design, and marketing, who were able to execute his vision successfully. Slack’s success is a testament to Butterfield’s ability to identify his weaknesses and build a team that complemented his skills.

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