For one startup CEO, finding a niche is the key to success in both business and hiring.
Tim Weingarten is a cofounder and CEO of The Hunt, which lets users to post pictures of items they want to purchase but can’t find, and receive help from its online community. In an interview with Skiddy von Stade, founder of finance career site OneWire, Weingarten said he looks for hires who are both experts in their fields and good culture fits for the company.
“What you really need is someone who is not only an expert in their field, say they’re an amazing Objective C engineer. Objective C is the language you use for iOS, for iPhone applications. Maybe they’re an amazing engineer, but beyond being amazing in their field, do they fit in with the team? And really that means do they fit in with the culture of the company,” Weingarten said.
He also said he looks for someone who is willing to take a risk working for a startup, who values equity in the company as much as salary, and who is a self-starter, who is individually driven.
Weingarten believes specialisation is one thing that’s made The Hunt successful. With a 96 per cent female user base, he said the goal of a community-driven website is to make the audience feel like they belong.
“My view as an entrepreneur is that a big mistake you can make is trying to go too horizontal, too broad, too fast to be all things to all people,” he said. “That usually ends up being a mistake, especially with these community driven sites and these huge user-driven generated content sites … The best approach is to build, go deep and narrow, and really own a particular demographic segment and vertical of the economy.”
The Hunt launched in 2013, and has raised over $US16 million in funding from investors, including celebrity investors Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher.
You can see more Open Door interviews with OneWire CEO Skiddy von Stade by subscribing to the series here.