Building a team when equity is all that one has to offer, is hard
. And to add to that, the available advice and solutions I've found, are just plain lacking. I've engaged about 6 people so far (I've written to many more), as potential teammates, and currently only 2 are still around, but it's hard to say at this point, how much they're onboard. The reasons people have left have been different each time. In a couple cases, it was my call, in other cases it was their call. In each case where it was their call, it was for their personal reasons (not enough time, work too demanding, different priorities in life, need for greater incentive, etc).
I imagine there being two core problems at work. One might be an inability for the person to fully imagine the company vision, and see it with enough clarity that they are continually motivated to chase it. And the other issue would have to be timing. Even among people who are already inclined towards joining a startup, it's often not timed right for their current place in life. Sometimes the person hasn't gained enough maturity, or maybe they don't have all the concepts in place to see why a startup is worth doing (these were once true for me).
Understanding all of this, how the hell do I get people to make that necessary mental shift, of, "this takes sacrifice, but it's worth it"?
Before you reply, please try to focus on keeping your suggestions actionable. Examples of non-actionable advice might be:
"live your nature"
This sort of advice simply doesn't mean squat.
Here's an example of something actionable (I just had this idea tonight):
I may be able to motivate each team member to get more onboard by sending very frequent updates (every couple days) showing the latest concept images or prototypes, and including mentions of the other team member and ideas they've provided or things they're working on. Even if this means embellishing upon the truth, there's the potential that each person will be motivated by the perception that "there's already an active team here". I think that perception will be much more compelling to a person than being the first person to join.
This tactic is similar to how startups game crowdfunding by getting initial capital to kick off the campaign and create the impression that the campaign is going to be wildly successful, which in turn increases motivation for people to pledge.
Does anybody else know of some creative hacks? BTW, the typical advice is to pull in coworkers. For sake of brevity, let's skip that topic. Bringing in a coworkers is an obvious solution but isn't always possible. If it was a complete solution for me in my current situation, I wouldn't be writing this post.
BTW, another thing I've considered is hunting for team members outside of LA (my current location). I've previously lived in SF and would be willing to look for talent there, if it meant my odds would go up enough. So secondary question: what are your thoughts on LA vs SF for team building?