Here’s the Three Person Dream Team Every Start-Up Needs

Introducing the 'Hipster, Hacker and Hustler' formula: the winning trio for every forward thinking business.


Deciding who to bring on board when launching your own venture can be a tricky, and let’s face it, somewhat daunting task. As all good cooks know, having the right ingredients can make or break a dish. So what is the perfect blend of personnel for your start-up? According to Rei Inamoto, the Chief Creative Officer of advertising agency AKQA, you need a core of three specific personalities to make your business boom, as it were.

“To run an efficient team, you only need three people: a Hipster, a Hacker, and a Hustler,” said Inamoto back in 2012. And he might be on to something. After all, each personality brings a specific skillset and has a key role to play, but are only really able to flourish while working as a package. So let’s take a closer look at why this formula is every start-up’s dream team…


The Hipster

The hipster is the cool, the swagger, the creative genius behind the operation. They add a current and inspired slant to your brand. Their official title might be art director or designer or resident manicured-beard cultivator. But irrespective of their ability to grow facial hair, without the hipster on your team, your product would look the same as everyone else’s – and who wants that? Granted, you may find yourself blankly nodding along as work chat turns to a lengthy debate on the merits of Pantone 13-1520 or Pantone 17-1614 for a particular font, but don’t let that put you off. They’ll be leading your business into the future of what’s in, and able to pick up on what should be left behind.


The Hacker

Your hacker might be a software developer, programmer or coder but will essentially all do the same thing – bring the hipster’s vision to life. While they may not make as much noise as the hipster or hacker, their role they play within your start-up is an integral one. They’re the bones of the business, the one who gets into the nitty gritty and perfects the product for the end user. Without them, what you give to your followers flops without an awareness of the importance of the end user’s experience. They’re the cogs in your machine.

(Warning: the hacker may struggle to hide their disdain for your white ‘vintage’ MacBook, hipster employee.)


The Hustler

If the hipster dreams up the design and the hacker builds it, the job of the hustler is to sell the finished product. As the bridge between your company and your customer, the well-connected, commercially savvy hustler is most likely to clash with the hipster over what is cool and what is actually marketable. Here’s where the dichotomy of the hipster and hustler personalities becomes extremely important: both will be pushing from a different and relevant angle. One will argue commercial viability, one will argue relevancy and hopefully, the friction will create the perfect balance of the two elements. Meanwhile, the hacker will be busy building a future project on Minecraft for their side project while the others two sort it out.


And that’s the core of what makes the perfect, modern team.


Love that. So simply put. We can tend to overthink who should be on the team. Thanks again C-Hub 🙂


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