The rarest and most valuable people in a startup company are the ones who not only understand their role, but can perform that role, even when things that should happen first, don’t happen first. If you can’t find these people, you can still be one of them yourself.
Without these types of people, the first part of a startup would feel like the story of Little Tuppen, whose mother needed water to help her stop coughing, and everyone wanted to help, but they all wanted her to do a different task before they would lift a finger. (The stream told her to see the tree, the tree told her to see the boy, the boy told her to see the cow, the cow told her to see the blacksmith…)
In the earliest days, this may be your feeling when you approach your very first investor, who wants you to have traction, or the very first clients, who want to know who your other clients are, or the VCs, who want to know about the other companies you’ve built and exited, or the potential partners, who want to work for a startup as long as it’s already scaling halfway up the hockey stick.
Your only hope is to be the type of person you’re looking for, and be grateful (I am) for all of those great people who find you.