Why Startups Should Never Build a Team Based On “Fit”

Words mean things. Maybe not this one.

Joe Procopio
5 min readMay 4, 2023
image by mindandi

What’s the most important thing you look for in a new hire? If you say “fit,” then you’ll probably get a lot of people nodding their heads in agreement with you.

But what are you really saying?

Look, there’s nothing wrong with the concept of fit on its own. In fact, up until my previous startup got acquired, I used to believe that my most critical factor in hiring was indeed fit — a belief that got crushed having to wade through all the employee existential crises that surfaced during the periods immediately before and after the exit.

And in fact, if someone asks me the same question today, and if I really don’t care about who is asking the question, I’ll still say “fit,” without thinking.

But a few years ago, I started asking myself the question: “What’s the opposite of fit?”

I had to think about the answer. So I’ll ask you to think about your own answer for a minute.

“What’s the opposite of fit?”

Tell me it’s not, “A person that no one in their right mind would ever want to work with.”

Let’s talk about some better ways to build a team.

Fit is a Crutch



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com