The person I have in mind is an early-stage marketing & sales person, someone who exclusively specializes in taking early-stage startups from a beta customer or two to some point of critical mass. Someone who can come into a 5 to 10 person, largely technical, team, and can (1) understand the market quickly and the technology base quickly, and (2) provide a meaningful go-to-market strategy and execution to get the first batch of customers.
As the first Marketing hire, the position would require a very broad skillset - combination of very strong strategic product marketing, impeccable MARCOM skills, and very strong technology and market-analysis.
Basically a guy who can do everything from design the website, to write datasheets, to train salespeople, to put together campaigns that generate real sales results, to add strategic value on the product mgmt side too.
I believe I am this guy, and the current start-up I work for is becoming more and more 'established' (largely due to my efforts) and isn't scratching my start-up itch any more.
So, given all that, a few questions:
- Is there a viable career to be made doing this? Or is everyone just trying to get out of early-stage stuff as fast as possible?
- If 'Yes', then what type of firms should I focus on?
- More generally, how does one know when to leave one's current start-up (leaving behind substantial equity) for something new (higher pay + better exit strategy)?
Thanks guys - I come on here all the time, and I'm glad to have a question of my own to share!