For #startup, accountant or attorney? Who do I hire first & why?

Cafe AJM Open 24/7 ‏@ajmcafe: For #startup, accountant or attorney? Who do I hire first & why?

ANSWER:

Oh my gosh. I almost don’t like any word in that question. I understand the concern, though. We’re all trained to think that if we start a business we need all the pros: lawyers for all of our “documents”, accountants for audits and taxes and salaries. Maybe even doctors to keep track of our blood pressure.

In my last company I hired a lawyer the day before I sold the company just to make sure all the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. I don’t think I ever even spoke to an accountant for that company. Maybe once.

For my first company, I used a lawyer but I wish in retrospect I had written the deal selling the company myself.

Very important, though. I can’t stress this enough. The one professional you should get for your company is a masseuse once a week.

But that’s assuming you hire people. Which brings me to the word “hire”. Oh wait, I haven’t even dealt with the word “startup” yet. But hold on. “Hire”. Why hire people? Only hire people if you and your cofounder(s) are working 120 hours a week. People cost money. People gossip. People are incompetent. People have sex with each other and then GOSSIP IN BED ABOUT YOU right after, before, or during sex. Hiring is like swimming in a pool sprayed down with sexually transmitted diseases.

Only hire people if you are absolutely going to lose revenues and profits if you don’t hire people.

Now, onto “startup”. What’s a startup? I’ve written about this before but is a deli a startup? A pizza place? Does writing a line of “HTML” make you a startup? If you go to a tech meetup/party are you now a startup?

I sort of feel like people use the word “startup” as a euphemism for, “I’m going to write some code, do something nifty, and then sell to Google” instead of the traditional word: “business” which means “i’m going to provide more value to someone than the cash they pay me.

So: Build a business, don’t hire people, ignore lawyers and accountants (or do it yourself) and hire a masseuse to relax. You deserve it.

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