Plausible continues growing fast so we're considering to add a new person to the team. Any good advice / blog posts for bootstrappers when looking to hire the first employee?

@markosaric imo, just do the things you'd do when hiring the 100th employee or the 1000th employee.

Tell us who the company you represent are, what the company does, what the employee will be working on, what you expect from the employee, what the employee can expect in return (salary, vacation days, emergency cases etc.).

Imo, it might also be nice to have the vacancy look "natural".
Like, make it look like it was made by an actual human being, not a corporate robot.

@markosaric Congrats! Just please don’t grow too fast or too large ;)

@aral thanks! we're now at some 1500+ subscribers per full time employee so definitely no plans to grow too fast/large. this is more like us following up on the demand (with a bit of a delay until it starts hurting) 😀

@markosaric @aral Careful with delaying, though; that means you might push hurt onto the employee, who almost certainly won't want to be put through the typical founders stress.

@markosaric Was actually just making calculations for our upcoming Small Web stuff and that’s basically the numbers we were projecting for sustainability for ourselves :)


@markosaric (I mean, we’re at zero and it hasn’t launched yet but that’s ~ our goal. If we reach that one day, we can stop worrying about whether we’ll be able to pay the rent and maybe even take a holiday one day.) :)

@aral good luck! it's not easy and it's full of challenges but it's fun...

hoping to take a holiday this summer myself but cannot completely disconnect at this stage... someone's got to respond to all the messages at some point 😀

@markosaric great to hear, I really what you guys are doing, and how. 👍

@markosaric Hire someone who loves to do what you hate doing and can take that burden off you.

@markosaric No helpful response, but congrats on the growth. Plausible is a great product.

@markosaric depends on what role you are hiring for...getting a competent marketing lead or technical director is completely different than onboarding a niche engineer or specific project manager.

Would recommend reading this bit, on how job-seekers go about it (very specifically for engineers, but the concepts are widely applicable):

(...full disclosure, I am an engineer seeking new employment.)

@markosaric having been the first hire at a startup company, I'll just say this...

the person you hire first will have a large impact on factors that affect every subsequent hire afterwards. The way things are done, and the behavior surrounding how those things are done, all start with the first person.

Granted, things shift and change and grow over time. In the early days, a lot of things have to be figured out and managed by hand - that is, without infrastructure or code or knowledge on how to do things. Tools might be kind of rudimentary - I remember having to put metadata into a CSV to populate items in a web store, because we didn't have an admin interface yet. What I'm saying is that your first hire ought to be someone who openly shares thoughts on how things can be better - and there should be brainstorming sessions to feel out what those things might be.

In my opinion, you're looking for someone who can work with a lot of loose structure in the beginning, who is capable of developing opinions about how things work (or otherwise don't work), who can learn the ins and outs and teach subsequent hires how to deal with all the hairy stuff that comes up. They might have to answer support tickets and get on the phone with people - in fact, support is a good starting place for a lot of people who eventually become senior members. Understanding problems from the bottom level upwards helps a lot.

@sean thanks for sharing! good points and i really like the one about starting with customer support!

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