The other day I had a call with a founder in my portfolio of angel investments who is preparing for a Series A round. His question was: At what point should he step back from personally leading sales and hire a real sales team?

Every seed or Series A company will go through this important step. There's no question that a founder's passion and knowledge of the product usually makes for a great salesperson. But at some point, it's time to let go and bring in the experts: true salespeople.

The challenge is, unless you cut your teeth in sales or have direct experience with the inner workings of a sales organization, many founders don't know much about recruiting or structuring a sales team. So where do you start?

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When news broke late Wednesday night that Kevin Mayer had resigned from TikTok after just under three months as its CEO, I was shocked. Kevin does not just quit anything.

I know, because I worked closely under him while he was the chief strategy officer at Disney.

There, Mayer was known as a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) wizard. Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars — some of the global franchises behind the unparalleled box office success and theme park attendance — were all Kevin. He was also known as an innovator. While other media companies clung to the traditional cable bundle, Kevin knew Disney needed to adapt and he pursued that belief with unrelenting conviction.

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The headlines seem to come every day now. From VC investment to audience growth, all metrics point to an explosion in the popularity of esports, even before the COVID-19 pandemic sent many people indoors. Now, as leagues, developers, publishers, players and the media all sit poised to ride this wave, it's important for all of us, especially the industry veterans, to pause and take a look at the bigger picture.

How do we ensure that this new influx of users and players become a true part of the community – not just for the short term, but for years to come?

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