Tag Archives: hiring

Building a Local vs. a Remote Team

Episode 326 | Building a Local vs. a Remote Team
Date: 2017-02-07
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
By having a remote team you can hire the best people regardless of location.
You will solve problems faster if you (and your coworkers) are all in the same location.
Governments don’t consider smaller businesses or ones that operate entirely online (when it comes to taxes) because it is not their concern. They have never caught up with the times of doing sales on the Internet.
Be careful hiring employees in any random state.
Not everyone is able to work remotely for sustained periods.

How to Make Your First Hire

Episode 285 | How to Make Your First Hire
Date: 2016-04-19
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsStay with part-time and contractors as long as you can.
Find people that are really good at a single skill and then fire yourself from the job they are doing.
Hiring is a learned skill.
Interview multiple candidates.
A bad hire is orders of magnitude worse than no hire.
Experienced people are a lot more expensive but they can hit the ground running.
Going from zero to one employees is the hardest.
As your budget grows you can hire better people.
Being a manger is a learned skill.
For full-time employees hire for the most time-consuming task you are doing first.
Hire for support first.
Really good hires typically aren’t looking for jobs.

Valuing People vs. Valuing Process

Episode 247 | Valuing People vs. Valuing Process
Date: 2015-07-28
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsTrust people not process.
Have really good people and let them run it.
Know your goals up front.
Hire as good as you can.
Any tasks that involves a high amount of creativity or is extremely complex is hard to turn into a process.
Error on the side of valuing people.

Building Teams of A Players

TMBA305: Building Teams of A Players
Date: 2015-08-28
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAWhen you’re 0-15 employees every one of your employees has to be an A player.
When you get up in the morning you’ve got to be motivated to work on your stuff.
As an entrepreneur your goal is to capture your best creative energy.
If you find yourself not insulated from the day-to-day business you are probably working with a lot of B players.
A players loved to be challenged and criticized. They are problem solvers. They demand to work with other A players.
A players are competitive by nature. They want to win. They want to see results.
Just as important as hiring A players is getting rid of B and C players.
When you are hiring people it is a two-way street.
A players don’t just want a job–they want the right job.
It takes between six and twelve months of somebody working in your business to find out if they are an A player. You need to have systems and processes in place to determine if they are not an A player and to kick them out as fast as possible.

Thoughts on Building a Small Business Culture

TMBA300: Thoughts on Building a Small Business Culture
Date: 2015-07-16
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAEverybody who has a multi-million dollar business has a team.
Even if you can’t hire people now knowing that is the direction you are going will affect how you build your business.
Understand how much a time zone change can have an effect on a business.
If you’re going to have a creative business collaboration is key.
Having four hours of overlap a day is key to getting things done.
In the beginning cut your salary in half.
Pay your people more than you make (at the beginning) because you are building an asset.
Optimize for learning not for earning (when looking for a job).
Make the culture about the business.
At the end of the day you want to build a team around people who are super pumped about the work you are doing on a day-to-day basis.
Get everyone talking to each other and not through you.
Customers have more market intelligence than you do.
Group calls of more than two or three people are wildly inefficient.

A 10 True Clients Business Model Case Study

TMBA298: A 10 True Clients Business Model Case Study
Date: 2015-07-02
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBALearn from people one-on-one.
What are the same questions that are coming up over and over and over again?
For press you actually have to have something interesting for people to talk about.
It is so important to hire really good people. If you hire really good people and pay them more then you don’t need to hire them for as many hours a week.
Hire a bookkeeper to setup your initial books.
Solve the things that are top-of-mind.
It is easier to be profitable earlier on with a service based business than with a product.
X/Y Planning Network

Impact Will Keep You Motivated

Title: Impact Will Keep You Motivated
Date: 2015-04-15
Speaker: Ron Gutman (HealthTap)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Look for people that won't endure the journey--look for people that will enjoy the journey.It is all about the mission.
Waking up in the morning knowing you’re doing something meaningful gives you amazing amounts of energy.
The one thing that never gets old is a mission.
Look for people that won’t endure the journey–look for people that will enjoy the journey.
Try to bring the people that you wouldn’t mind getting in trouble with.
You want to make sure that the people you are with are compatible with you when things are not going that great.
(The mission) is the glue that keeps it all together.
Keeping the values, and not just writing them, is something that will help you keep it all together.
Helping other is better than anything else.
Think big. Think strategy.
In order to make better products you need to keep iterating on them all the time. Start simple and then iterate and iterate. Listen to users.
Don’t be afraid to launch products very quickly.
Test small. Don’t test big.
Don’t wait many months and years to build big things because you are going to be too late.
Smiling has amazing power.
It is possible to build positivity into your life by just being conscious of it.
Live the moment.
Deciding to remain positive is very important when you are trying to conquer these kinds of challenges.
Really think about how to hire the best person in the world for the job you that have at hand.
The most important challenge as an entrepreneur is really finding the most amazing person for every position in the company.
Create an environment where failure doesn’t exist–learning does.

Making Complicated Things Simple

Title: Making Complicated Things Simple
Date: 2015-02-04
Speaker: Alon Cohen (Houzz)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Sometimes it is best to jump in and not thing too hard about what is going to happen.(Successful entrepreneurs) take something that is complicated and make it much simpler.
It is not enough to be talented at something. You actually have to work very hard.
Pick the right people.
It is never too late (to start a company).
You can learn on the way if you go and work other places.
At big companies it is difficult to get people to feel empowered.
Try to hire people that are very entrepreneurial.
The first few hires you bring are critical.
A-players bring A-players.
Founders are best at moving walls and getting things done.
Sometimes it is best to jump in and not think too hard about what is going to happen.
At the end of the day it is really about the people.
It is always important that you keep investing in the future. It is what keeps you ahead of the game.
Every startup is different.
On the inside you know things are not always what they look like on the outside.

Later-stage Advice

Lecture 20: Later-stage Advice

Link: How to Start a Startup

(You can find notes to the other lectures here.)

Sam Altman (@sama)

How to Start a StartupIn most companies of under 20 to 25 employees most are structured with everyone reporting to the founder. That is what you want at that stage.
When lack of structure fails it fails all at once.
What works at 20 to 25 employees fails disastrously at 30 employees.
All you need if every employee to know who their manager is, and there should be exactly one, and every manager should know who their direct reports are.
The most important thing is that there is clear reporting structure and that everybody knows what it is.
Clarity and simplicity are the most important things.
Before product/market fit your only job is to build a great product.
The biggest shift is being a founder is moving from building a great product to building a great company.
The wrong answer is to stay in hero mode until you burn out.
Write down how you do things and why you do things.
Codify how you do things.
People need to know how they are doing pretty quickly.
One thing that is important when it comes to H.R. is equity.
Equity is one area where investors always give bad advice.
Always stay in front of people’s vesting schedules.
Get an options management system in place.
When you cross 50 employees there is a new set of HR rules you need to comply with.
Monitor your team for burnout.
Have diversity in hiring early. You’ll be able to ramp up hiring more quickly in the long run.
Small teams are naturally productive most of the time.
It is important to keep reiterating the message about the road map and the goals.
You never want to put a process in place that rewards the process. The focus has to always be on great product.
All-hands meetings should be at least once a month.
The single hardest thing in business is building a company that does repeatable innovation and just has this ongoing culture of excellence as it grows.
Eleven months after launching you should file for provisional patents.
Very few founders thing long term.
Take vacations.
Ignore acquisition interest.
Startups fail when founders quit.
Don’t outsource the key messaging.
The biggest PR hack you can do is to not hire a PR firm.
Pick three or four journalists that you establish close relationships with.
Developing a personal connection with anyone you’re trying to do any sort of deal with is really important.
The way you get deals done and get good terms is to have a competitive situation.
You have to ask for what you want.
You want diversity of background. You don’t want diversity of vision.
Hire people that are complementary and aligned towards the same goal.
If you don’t want to be the long term CEO of a company you probably shouldn’t start one.

Company Culture and Building a Team, Part II

Lecture 11: Company Culture and Building a Team, Part II

Link: How to Start a Startup

(You can find notes to the other lectures here.) 

Patrick Collison (@patrickc)

John Collison (@collision)

Ben Silbermann (@8en)

How to Start a StartupRun a company based on what you celebrate. (Ben Silbermann)
The amount of things you can personally be involved in diminishes exponentially. (Patrick Collison)
When you’re hiring the first ten people you’re actually hiring the first one hundred people because the first ten will bring ten along with them. (Patrick Collison)
Culture isn’t like architecture. It is a lot more like gardening. (Ben Silbermann)
Really great people who are good at many disciplines and extraordinary at one tend to build really great products. (Ben Silbermann)
No batch of ten people will has as much influence on the company as the first ten people. (John Collison)
Hiring is a bit like being a value investor. You’re looking for undervalued human capital. (Patrick Collison)
There is no wrong place to find people. (Ben Silbermann)
Really great people want to do stuff that is hard. They want to solve big problems. (Ben Silbermann)
When recruiting be transparent about why you think it is a great opportunity. (Ben Silbermann)
Work with people as much as you can prior to hiring them. (Patrick Collison)
Quickly give people feedback in particular feedback on how to adapt to the culture. (John Collison)
The more feedback you give them the better they’ll do. (John Collison)
Your company either fails very quickly or all of your problems become about managing growth. (Patrick Collison)
People don’t come out of the womb being good at leadership. (John Collison)
Give as many people a shot as possible. (Ben Silbermann)
The farther along your company is the larger your expectations get. (Ben Silbermann)
If (success) were guaranteed it would be boring. (Patrick Collison)
At the early stage finding people who are passionate about your product can be a great way to find people. (John Collison)