Startup Founder Advice from’s Paul English

by co-founder Paul English wants to know whether you think your team could take on his.

In this interview with Chris Dixon, host of the TechCrunch video series Founder Stories, English talks about Kayak’s unconventional hiring style — “We don’t hire for open positions but we are looking for athletes, we are looking for star performers, and then when we find someone great, we make a spot for them” — provides startup founder advice including the suggestion that founders should always be recruiting, and explains what traits founding teams need to posses in order to get his attention as an investor.

“We look at how our product compares to our competitors’. I also look at how my team compares to my competitors’,” English says. “I always say I’ll put the Kayak team, man for man, person for person against any team in travel.” Do you feel the same about the team you’ve put together? If not, English suggests you may be in for a bumpy ride. “It’s usually the case that your original idea is not the idea that makes you wildly successful,” English notes, “the thing that will make you wildly successful is having an unbelievably strong team.”

Your idea will change. You may have to take your product/solution and pivot, reposition yourself in the marketplace. As long as you have a strong team you’ll be able to do that.