Here are the people that you will find in the office of any startup or young business
Startups are full of young, fun loving, super geeks that come across as loveable rogues and were likely all at university together. They are always plugged into the Internet and can often be found sat at their desk, socialising on social media whilst drinking a craft beer from Desk Beer. This is the startup stereotype, and one that no-one seems keen to counter.
However, in reality, this could not be further from the truth. Startups are hard work, and full of people from a range of diverse backgrounds and are likely drinking coffee rather than beer. Those working in startups bring with them a huge set of experiences and interests and it’s these that shape the internal culture of a startup.
However we think that there are some generic categories of people within startups. This is our list of those awesome personalities that you are likely to find in startups.
The Office Organiser
Whilst others are arguing over which type font to use for the T&Cs or who has stolen the milk from the fridge The Office Organiser is making things work, turning the dream into a business. They know when things need to done by and who needs to do them. They can also be referred to as the manager but this sounds way too corporate for a startup so we have labelled then The Office Organiser. They were likely a prefect at school, and have perhaps also graduated as an MBA and almost certainly likely to be addicted to coffee.
Every startup needs one of these, but only one! They very likely came up with the idea for the company, but isn’t quite sure what to do with it. They do less hands-on work than the other team members, preferring to procrastinate and take lots of coffee meetings. They are very likely to have a desk decorated in inspirational quotes along the lines of the Walt Disney classic: ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’
Aka The Schmoozer, these people can sweet talk anybody into liking them and the business they work for. They very likely have some sales experience in their previous experiences and certainly the person you want in those all-important meetings where persuasion is needed. If you are talking to suppliers or investors make sure The Charmer is up to speed and unleash them to do what they are best at. Smile and get to a ‘Yes Yes’ situation. One issue with this individual is that they spend a lot on ‘entertainment expenses’ and in the pub ‘schmoozing’ the next lead.
Perhaps one of the most important people in any startup because they are the ones that hold the ship together. They just get on and do all the small but very important jobs that need doing. Whether it’s ordering the stationary, filling in forms or picking up the pizzas for the late nights these are the people that you want on your team. There is definitely some serious collaboration with The Organiser – putting their words into action.
The Purse Controller
This person controls the money, making sure that all the ‘i’s are dotted and the ‘t’s are crossed. Remittance and balanced books help them to sleep better at night. They know that unless they maintain control all the money might go on coffee and vintage football tables.
The Social One
This person has serious amounts of energy and are super loud! They can talk for England, and spend the day instagramming, tweeting and posting everything they eat to the Internet. They are regularly poking an iPhone in your face claiming that you are like on Periscope making you feel a little awkward and nervous. They are brilliant communicators, and understand a lot of talking is actually about listening. So this person will be your shoulder to cry on and will likely be there propping you up when you want to give it all up. They’ll also be the with The Charmer in the pub a lot – well the company has to look young and fun doesn’t it?
This person is so calm in front of a camera they radiate Zen. Perhaps a politician in another life this person has a permanent smile and can answer any question always making it sounds positive. They are the designated face of the company, appearing in all the videos and clips that The Social One posts everywhere. This person goes to bed early as they need to look every morning, just in case they have a last minute podcast or television interview
The All Rounder
No one is entirely sure what this person does, but they seem to do a little bit of everything. They tend to spend a lot of time with The Dreamer and are a welcome addition to the company as they have a spare loft conversion in Shoreditch the company can use before they find a real Shoreditch office space.
The Super Geek
This is especially prevalent in a tech startup where you might have more than one, perhaps a whole team of them!! Yep, you heard me… a whole team. But these are the guys and girls that build the product and keep the lights so don’t get on the wrong side of these Super Geeks. They will always have a tab open with Reddit open so that they don’t miss the next trending video!
The Excitable Intern
Now you want energy in your startup right? Well this is why interns are invaluable. This person is likely young and incredibly inexperienced, but ‘boy’ do they make up for it with energy, bouncing off the walls. They want to learn everything, and they are willing to jump in on anything that needs to get done. Whether its data entry, making tea for the team or even holding their own on event stands, no startup can function without an intern.
Startups need money to make magic. Simple. And the early investment that you got from investors likely might very well come with a caveat; you have to hire their nephew. This person has cash and likes to talk about it. They really want some ‘startup experience’ before they go into banking like their family. They do not have a lot of experience but over time they certainly win the other team members around by buying all the drinks but also their amazing enthusiasm for the business and its direction. Although this person might be annoying at first, give them some time and you will soon learn to love them. Funny, perhaps a little posh, and pretty intelligent but maybe lacking in common sense this is a great person to have on your startup team.
The Busy Manager
They always say be wary of the busy manager, and this is no exception. This person is ALWASY busy, although no one really knows what they get done. They are out in meetings all day, rushing around and are constantly frenetic! Initially their energy is infectious but soon it becomes overwhelming as they lack direction and don’t deliver. This could be the one person that might not survive in a startup as its all about productivity.
This is our round up of the people you might find in a startup office in London, have we missed anyone?
I suppose the big question is, which one are you?