If you’re long enough in the tech business, you should have heard a tale about 3H that every startup needs. In order for a startup to become successful it needs 3 founders:

  • a Hacker
  • a Hustler
  • a Hippie (they call it Hipster nowadays but don’t follow the crowd)

If you think about this setup for a bit, this constellation will definitely start making sense.

Let’s see what every one of those 3H actually entails.

A Hacker

Let’s start with the easiest one. A Hacker is your CTO - someone who will build the product, someone who cares about building cool products, someone who understands how to spend time efficiently.

Some tend to spend too much time over optimizing the early stage product.
Scalability doesn’t matter when you didn’t find your product fit yet. When you over optimize too early in the process, you’re wasting at least double the time by not executing on your idea, losing time on unnecessary bells and whistles before having found your product market fit.

As you may know, startup is all about the execution. The faster you can execute, the higher are the chances of your startup to become successful.

So a hacker should know how to cut corners in a smart way. There is a huge difference between your MVP and your end product.

Building products is hard, building valuable products is even harder - that’s exactly why every hacker needs a counterpart - a hippie.

A Hippie

Who’s a hippie you may ask. If you are too young and don’t know who Steve
was, I pity you and recommend you to start getting to know about him.

Up to this date, I personally consider him to be the best product person
ever - you can argue, I don’t care.

So, if you haven’t seen The Lost Interview yet - do it now, you won’t regret it.

One of the questions Steve was asked is Are you a hippie or a nerd - so when the best product person of all time considered himself a hippie, we can assume that a hippie is your CPO.

Marty Cagan - the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group has the best definition of a successful product - it emerges on the intersection of following three properties:

  • Valuable - Something that our customers will choose to use
  • Usable - Easy to figure out how to use
  • Feasible - Buildable using the technology stack and skills we have

The best products exist on the intersection of those three qualities.

A Hustler

This one is almost as clear as a hacker position. Your hustler is your Head of Sales. A very important person on your team. Don’t be disillusioned - build it and they will come is a fallacy. In the world full of similar products and never ending competition, you need a hustler who will sell your product to your customers and your idea to the investors.

This is the person who knows and believes in your product and help a hippie to find the best possible Product/market fit.

On A Side-note

  • Ideas are worth nothing without execution
  • Your customers do not care about your tech
  • Startup is a marathon not a sprint - pace yourself
  • Timing matters but you cannot control it
  • You don’t know how your product will be used
  • It will be harder than you think