There are risks in creating a “process culture” or to try and institute top-down initiatives in an early venture. Reality in a startup is just too volatile to try and plan for. Starting a venture or being part of a cofounding team is not like any other job. Many of us (me especially!) who have spent time in the corporate world forget this.
One of the things that seems to be helpful is to develop a “warrior for a cause mindset” in building a team. Spending the time up front in introspecting why this is an important venture for each team member to pursue. Without a team member being fanatically action oriented and driven towards realizing the cause no talent/skill likely matter. Job titles will definitely evolve as the venture progresses – action and the cause seem to be the only constants.
In the first several months and beyond it seems to me there are really two things that add value and each member gets to measure contributions in one of two dimensions –
1. Make product
2. Sell users/customers
If we don’t see on a daily/weekly basis how we are individually creating progress in either of these then we should question what we are doing – it likely doesn’t matter.
There is an underlying existential aspect of resource commitment to the cause (funding, team building, etc.) but this will follow from successes in 1 & 2.
[incorporating other’s thoughts I am sure – have read too many posts to be able to decipher provenance without lots of effort]