Early on, every employee should generate some amount of revenue. (No start-up can afford employees that generate no revenue.)
Yet some will start creating esoteric spreadsheets because they like creating spreadsheets. Some will create detailed reports because they like creating comprehensive reports. Some will spend time “networking” on social media because, well, they like social media. Great start-up employees focus on activities that, as directly as possible, generate revenue—or if they can’t generate revenue, on keeping costs as low as possible. That means in her “spare” time your accountant works to reduce accounts receivable, or negotiate a better maintenance contract with a supplier, or streamline reporting systems so employees can focus more on work and less on administrative tasks.
Great start-up employees know that money is the lifeblood of your business—so if a task doesn’t pay, they put it away.
This clearly tells me what was wrong with my hiring practices in my previous startups. Now onwards, I am going to keep this with me as a checklist while interviewing candidates.