Get the team together

I was having an amazing coffee with Nathan Sampimon and Ross Hill the other day, talking about life, business and (often) the new book rework by the guys at 37signals. But one topic that kept resonating in our caffeine laced discussion was one of getting the team together. I’d like to discuss this idea a little more here today


For me, the idea of getting the team together (think – we’re getting the band back together!) is something quite powerful. Pulling the team together is normally done in light of creating something meaningful and making good stuff happen. Nath does it with Inspire9, Nigel did it to win a national HPV event and even Tom Peters (the ‘uber’ management guru) suggests finding a ‘freaky friend’ to have coffee with before unleashing your new idea on the world. Pull your team together and begin working on it, secretly, until you’re ready to release something to the world.

So how do you pull the team together? Chances are, you already know who you want in your team. They’re probably #samehumans. Have coffee with them. Discuss the merits of the idea (and the scope!) and talk about all the things you WON’T do.

It’s easy to pull together the team when you have fireworks to offer: cash, equity, funding etc etc.But most people don’t have any real ammunition in their belts. Nor, I’m guessing, do you just yet. And that’s ok. You don’t need it.

So talk about the simplest thing that you will do together. Talk about how that will take you to the minimum viable product of what you want to achieve, and then figure out who else (if anyone else) you need to on the team to help make that happen. Don’t let the team grow to big – you don’t want to deal with that just yet. 3-4 is plenty and 2 is probably best. Agree on what you’re going to do, and then do it.  And, as Sivers says, keep it secret.

Chances are, pulling the team together will help make something amazing happen, even if you’re not quite sure of what that is just yet. Don’t fret – just start with a coffee and see how it pans out.

5 thoughts on “Get the team together

  1. Top post Steve.

    I often fantasise about a project that will one day – in 10 years time or something – bring together all of the incredible #samehumans who just really get it. It would be an incredible team, and one that I would be so excited to work with. One of those teams that you want to be in almost regardless of the project.

    I imagine it will be something like a new political party, or a presidential campaign (ala West Wing Season 2 Episode 1 – 3 for all you nerds out there).

  2. omg, I’ll second Nick!

    I sorta have a project brewing around conceptualizing and building an ideal country, possibly even virtual. I can’t see why a country needs to be geographically defined, or why there isn’t a formally recognized country for people who identify as global citizens.

    To me great nations are built on great ideological principles, so what might this ‘great country’ stand for — politically, economically, socially, philosophically, even perhaps spiritually? What kind of nation would do me proud to be a part of and wish to serve? Should people serve their country or a country serve its people? Those were the questions that got me started, and I now have a list of them covering several areas… but you get the rough idea.

    It would be so cool to find other #samehumans who might share the spirit and passion for it, and who’ll want to paint a picture and build it together (think crowd-sourced, co-creation of the country with other #samehumans, along the lines of the wikinomics playbook). But it’s just me, a very scratchy concept sheet and another nut who fortunately gets it at the moment. Maybe we should talk, Nick!

    anyone ever felt they were a lone nut? see

    I’m hoping #samehuman will help kick-start a lot of projects and unlonelify the lone nuts! 😛

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