Startups live or die based on their ability to attract talent. All other factors that can affect startup success are secondary. This is even more pronounced when you are an early stage startup (read ‘resource constrained to the extreme’) as you have little or no room for bad hiring decisions. Having said that, everyone makes hiring mistakes and it is a process that you hope to get better at with experience. If you are like me and most other entrepreneurs, you would dump conventional wisdom and techniques, and build your own set of hiring rules that are driven by your unique style and situation. Over the years, I have been involved in several startups and here are some of the things I have learned in hiring during early days of the startup (i.e., first 2-5 employees).