Startup Secret #1: Good genes

This is the first of Rafe Needleman's Startup Secrets, which will offer advice from people who've been there.

"The first ten people you hire determine your company's DNA forever."

--Halsey Minor, CNET, in 1996

CNET's original CEO told me this in the early days of CNET. He went on to explain that if you bring someone in to your company early on and their ethos or culture isn't what you want, you'll never be able to fully get it out of the company once they start hiring their own people.

Always hire carefully, but be extra aware that first people you hire will determine the course of your company's evolution long after they themselves are gone.

This is the first of my daily (I hope) Startup Secrets, which I will be gathering from new and old personal interviews with people building companies, and from their blog posts and news stories. Subscribe to Startup Secrets on Twitter or come back to Rafe's Radar every day for a new one.

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