Better Alternatives to Being a Startup Founder

startup founder alternatives

July 13, 2022

Are you an ambitious, driven, entrepreneurially-minded person who is eager to take risks but just does not want to be a founder? When you’re the first US salesperson for a global startup with its headquarters outside the US, it’s like launching a startup, without the stress and headaches of actually being the founder, creating the product, and wondering where your first investment of cash will come from. Here are the ways it’s better to be the first US salesperson than to be a startup founder.

One of the hardest parts of launching and growing a startup is creating a product and then finding product-market fit. Product-market fit is when there are enough customers coming to buy the product and telling others about it that it can grow sustainably. When you have product-market fit, then you are clearly solving a problem for customers and you can scale the business.

When you’re the first US employee for a global company, you have a lot more infrastructure in place already. Usually the product has already been sold or at least tested in other countries before the US. It has likely already found product-market fit in another country, which is an indicator that there is already demand for the product outside the US and there may be demand for the product in the US. so you can bypass a lot of the years of frustrating development and testing phase and go straight for growth and expansion. You can combine the best practices already established, localize it, and then execute.

When you’re a startup founder, you have to oversee product development to ensure that the product is meeting people’s needs and reaches product-market fit. As the first US person launching in a new market, you don’t need to worry about product development, though you will have to relay product feedback.

When you’re a startup founder, if things don’t work, it ultimately falls on your shoulders to fix it. There’s no one you can go to for help. When you’re the first salesperson in the US, on the other hand, even though you have responsibility, you have others you can defer to for help.

If the product breaks or if you need help creating social media graphics, it’s likely that other people on your team can help if you just send them a Slack message or email. When you’re the founder of a company, the responsibility ultimately lies with you to get all of these things figured out. 

As the first US hire, you can truly focus on selling, and you don’t have to spend your time doing everything else that founders do: raising money and meeting with investors, getting ready for board meetings, dealing with internal conflict, overseeing product and technical development, and so on. Your job is to build the US market and sell your product in the US. 

If you are successful, which you are sure to be, especially if you have some of the key traits of a country manager, you can grow into the roles that you want. But the choice is yours. If you realize you prefer being a lone wolf, you don’t have to focus on team management, and you can focus on what you’re best at: selling and building a market. And if you eventually decide that you prefer operations or marketing, you can have that too. You are charting new paths and blazing new trails, all within the structure of an existing company with resources and support.

Overall, building the US market for your startup is a lot like launching a startup, but it’s often better than being the startup founder. If you want to be the first US representative for a global company, sign up for our talent portal today. We at Alariss Global can match you to exciting job opportunities.


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