The most frequent mishire in startups is the first head of marketing. Many different disciplines fall under marketing's purview. The question facing founders recruiting marketers is: which is the most important to prioritize?
Marketing expertise falls into three segments: product marketing, demand generation, and brand marketing. Each of these kinds of marketers have critical skills for a startup. But the reason many marketing hires fail is the business doesn't hire the right expertise at the right time.
Startups are business machines engineered to grow quickly. The forces of hypergrowth exert enormous strain on every aspect of the company. Internal break all the time as the company moults into a new skin. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when hiring. Every lead hired today, whether marketing , sales, engineering or product, will have a very different job nine months from now, much less two years from now.