An common wisdom in startup circles that I really like is that the perfect startup team is formed from three personality types, the Hacker, The Hipster and the Hustler.

  • The Hacker is the geek who can build the technology underpinning the business.
  • The Hipster brings the creative design and cool factor.
  • The Hustler does the deals, follows the money, leads the sales and partnerships.

This doesn’t mean that every startup needs three founders or that they each need to be equity holders, but when hiring a team consider the balance of the three skills.

There’s no strong evidence to back up this model, or that the best CEO’s are more likely to have one trait over another. But I’ve found that when you ask a room of entrepreneurs to identify as one of the three, participants will always identify strongly to one of the three. And when you put these three skills together, magic often happens.

*Forbes: The phrase ‘Hipster, Hacker and Hustler’ was first coined by Rei Inamoto, the chief creative officer for AKQA at SXSW in March 2012.