You're not looking for someone to work for you... you're looking for someone you'll be sitting on a beach with in 20 years' time, laughing about some of the ludicrous things you did to get the deal done.
Download your PDF copy of Game Changers using the link on the left.
At Notion we invest in early stage B2B technology businesses in Europe. Fundamentally, our focus is on putting our money with Founders who have a technical edge, or who are pushing the boundaries of nascent technologies. But we also look at other factors, including the leadership abilities of the Founders and many other ‘soft skills’ factors that can be tricky to quantify.
Consistently though, we know two things about our founders:
Notion has made more than 55 investments in software businesses, and today has more than 45 companies in the portfolio. In each case, we invested very early and we have made some exceptional investment decisions.
But we also pride ourselves in investing far more than just money. From day one, a key area of focus is how we can support our Founders in hiring highly experienced and knowledgeable people to go on their extraordinary journey with them.
When Founders make a C-Level hire, they’re not just looking for employees but for business partners who’ll drop everything to help, travel frequently and when it’s inconvenient, who’ll relocate from San Francisco to Spain and who’ll - more often than not - have made the same journey with other Founders on a number of occasions before.
Founders are not looking for an employee, they are looking for a “Game Changer”; someone who will give them the headspace to be CEO without distraction, someone who will not be phased by signi cant setbacks, someone who will drive 10x the revenue in their rst year on the job and someone who, ultimately, will be a huge contributing factor to the success of the business.
“You’re not looking for someone to work for you... You’re looking for someone you’ll be sitting on a beach with in 20 years’ time, laughing about some of the ludicrous things you did to get a deal done” - Chris Tottman
In our experience, it’s a consistent factor that every Founder needs great people at the helm with them, and every Founder experiences struggles in hiring those people.
This isn't a playbook on 'how to find a Game Changer' - it's more a collection of learnt wisdom from the experience of the founders we're invested in and the people in our network.
It’s an overview of the things we’ve learnt that will, with luck, help Founders learn what to look for and what to expect from their first big hire; it should provide reassurance that pretty much everyone finds it hard to hire a Game Changer. Hiring a Game Changer is an endeavour that, while challenging, can ultimately prove invaluable.