Q: What are the most important functional skills that you look for in a startup’s founders and on a startup team? Sales/Marketing/Operations/Technical/Changes every times?
A: (Brad): There are two attributes I want on every founding team – deep tech skills and capable sales skills. Occasionally these come together in one person (e.g. a deep tech person also knows how to sell), but it’s usually great to have a combo. Now – a "sales guy" is not what I mean by "capable sales skills" – the sales oriented person needs to get the tech, understand product, and be passionate about talking to whoever is going to be using the product.
When I look back on my biggest successes, they usually had two to four co-founders of which at least two were technical and built the original product. One of the founders was also the CEO and responsible for "the business" and – while he often had heavy involvement in the product design, he wasn’t coding on a daily basis.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a success where at least one person on the founding team wasn’t deeply technical.