“…If you only want to pay in pizza…most times, you’ll get pizza.”
-Matt Van Slyke | Utica Bike Rescue
So true. It’s really another way of saying ‘you pay for what you get.’ If you are not willing to pay someone a decent rate for their knowledge or time, you cannot expect that you’ll have 100% of that person’s energy, brainpower or enthusiasm. But in SOME cases, like pizza (which is usually pretty good, rarely great) – good, is good enough. It might get you through a first prototype or the first version of an idea. The disconnect happens when an entrepreneur only wants to pay with pizza but expects Fillet Mignon in return.
I was in a meeting with Matt working with him on the next steps of his product development and we’re trying to figure out how to get the right team in place to move the project forward quickly and efficiently. Building the right team is absolutely essential for success.
One of the ways you mitigate always getting pizza is finding people who not only have the expertise you’re looking for, but who you have vision alignment with, and making them part of the team. That means being able to clearly and succinctly articulate the problem your product solves, and WHY it’s important that you solve it. When both parties have the same vision, you’ll be able to move faster, make better decisions and attract talent that want to be part of making that vision a reality. That alignment also can help avoid problems down the road such as an exist strategy (what happens if one partner’s vision includes selling the company after 5 years, and the other expects to make it a life-long career?). That means potentially sharing equity, the vision and the spotlight, so choose any partner carefully.
Know what you stand for, know what you need, and learn how to inspire others to want to be part of the journey with you.