How Ought to You Employees Your Startup in 2023 by @ttunguz

Yesterday, the Enterprise Tech 30 List was revealed. Congratulations to all of the winners (particularly MotherDuck, Hex, & Omni)!

I analyzed the headcount patterns inside these corporations to make clear three questions :

  1. How are these prime corporations altering their headcount by means of the downturn?
  2. What p.c of headcount is in product & engineering?
  3. What p.c of headcount is in gross sales & advertising and marketing?

The everyday firm grew headcount by 57%. The mid-stage companies grew quickest at 88%, subsequent early corporations at 62%, & the later corporations by 43%. The Giga corporations held headcount flat over the previous 12 months.

As corporations make use of hundreds, we should always count on progress charges to asymptote. It’s shocking to see the Giga corporations flat – one other indication of unsure market occasions forward.


Wanting on the knowledge in additional granular element, most corporations have grown headcount at related charges, with a couple of outliers doubling or extra & some shrinking headcount. The bigger the enterprise, the decrease the expansion fee, however the correlation is weak at -0.27.


R&D, which incorporates engineering, IT, & product administration, dominates early corporations’ headcount as they construct product.

As soon as corporations develop to about 50-100 workers, different groups blossom to help & market the product. From that time ahead, these companies usually function with 30% headcount in R&D.


Gross sales & Advertising are a distinct story. Startups function with a broader variance with industrial groups : Canva & Databricks ought to paint the ends of the spectrum.

On common, 20% of headcount is gross sales & advertising and marketing. The correlation with scale is successfully zero, which means that ratio holds all through the lifetime of a enterprise, barring the pre-commercialization epoch in a startup’s lifespan.

These startups, held in excessive regard by enterprise capitalists, ought to present some perception for startups as they navigate the macroeconomic setting.

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