An ideal founding team is one that covers all the important components of the ‘business’ around the idea or concept that the startup is working on.
In most cases, people start ventures with others who have a passion for similar concepts or opportunities. And that’s a great starting point. However, whenever possible, complementarity of skills is better than all co-founders with similar skill sets and experiences – one engineer + one marketing person + one designer.
As you start building a larger team (you take in more co-founders or members of your early management team), you need to identify the various areas that your startup will need to deliver on and then identify the team requirements.
Focus on the critical areas. Get people who can multi-task. Get people with some experience in different aspects of business, and not just their immediate area of expertise.
Passion and commitment is critical at a startup. When finding a co-founder or early team members, also evaluate ‘why they want to join you’ rather than just ‘what are their qualifications and experiences and what do they know that will be useful to my startup.’