* The career experiences of start-up founders, and the initial organizational structure they create, matter for a new venture’s future success.
* Firms with little organizational structure and inexperienced founders—“engineers in a garage”—are disadvantaged on all fronts and are the least likely path to success.
* Organizational structure (i.e., positions) and career experience are not interchangeable—having one does not compensate for lacking the other.
* Deliberate planning for the future—including decisions about which positions and experience are needed for success—should be done at the very beginning of a new venture. Don’t assume it will be easy to add more experienced talent later.