Startup Blog 002: The First Meeting

Welcome to the team! It’s time for your first meeting, and there is a lot for you to catch up on.

Wait a minute, don’t go any further. This is your first meeting, and it’s the first of thousands to come. I have been in a professional environment for over ten years, and in that time frame, I’ve tried dozens of different note taking programs and apps. I’m not here to pander one or another to you, but I recommend that you figure you what works for you, and start with a clean slate. I use Evernote, I have for the better part of the last five years, and it works for me. Find what works for you, and dedicate yourself to it through this venture. It will get confusing to jump around down the road, so consider a note taking app that makes it easy to do the following things:

  1. Easy to categorize notes by topic and date
  2. Easy to share your notes and ideas with your team
  3. Can be utilized by a team, not just yourself
  4. Can grab clipping from other sources, including the internet and your email account. Should include images as part of the clippings
  5. Is affordable for your startup budget

What to expect in your first meeting.

I came into our startup a few months in, so I had catching up to do. It’s important in your first meeting to listen, save your questions for the next meeting. I listened a lot in our first meeting, and only asked questions to further explain status of issues and the project itself. Our startup has a few offshoots into other companies that will help the overall function of it to our customers, but getting into the grass on those companies would have complicated the first meeting. I left them alone. It’s important going in to focus on why you are part of the team. You don’t bring anything to the company on day one, you are there to get your footing in the project. Remember that, or you can get overwhelmed early, and trust me, you are going to get overwhelmed.

Takeaways are key.

Before your shake hands after your first meeting, set a few goals for that meeting. Know what takeaways you need to move into your place quickly. As the CMO, I needed to the following:

  • What are our current funds and their allocations?
  • What’s the current status of the project, and where are we with each element of that?
  • What timeline is in place?
  • What are the next steps and what are my tasks?

Relax. One task at a time.

My last bit of advice – relax. You will walk away from your first meeting with a sense of excitement, nervousness and ambition. It’s important that you relax, and begin to lay out your tasks for moving forward. If you try to rush into everything, you will overwhelm yourself. Create tasks for yourself and order them by importance and timing. My next blog post will talk about project management, and if you don’t come into the startup with an application in place, I have one that I think is perfect for startups.