Never hire a designer if you can’t have a beer with him

Hiring a designer to work with you is one of the most critical steps during your journey as a startup. How your final product will look and feel is a key factor for success. Hiring the “chosen one” is as risky as it sounds.

Yes, I know, you are a startup too. You have no money to spend; you count everything at this stage. With so many options on the web it may sound easy to find one. There are plenty of websites to pick from and hire somebody from Japan to USA, and from Norway to South Africa. And in English too.

We did not think of doing so although prices were low and there were plenty of awesome designs out there. There was something missing. We call it “smell”. You probably know what I mean. It’s the kind of feeling you have only when you meet somebody in person.

We found our chosen ones through referrals from trusted friends and people we have worked with. At first we called them all to express our interest to see their work. Not all of them had experience exactly on what we were developing. Nevertheless we had a coffee with each one of them. We really wanted to communicate and find out their passion for new challenges and willing. After doing so we had our four chosen ones.

The second stage was to have a beer with these four! Fortunately most of them were interesting enough to have a second beer with! And a third!  What a great week! Two of them really won us in terms of communication and common language. The difficult part was to identify “Neo”.

We had all the information we needed. We had also determined the budget with both of them. No one was better than the other. But just something occurred and revealed to us our “Neo”. He started to act as member of the team from the next day. He started sending us mails with precious information and he also suggested a couple of great ideas for the project. We did not feel annoyed at any time. He was already feeling as part of the team. Hiring him was a natural outcome.

We think that you should not hire a designer if you can’t have a beer with him! We strongly recommend that kind of approach when adding such a creative person in your startup team.

We would be glad to hear your way of hiring a designer for your startup!

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