Saturday, July 22, 2017

The 10 Commandments of Startup Success

Tim Ferriss has a great compilation from the "Masters of Scale" podcast titled "The 10 Commandments of Startup Success with Reid Hoffman". Here are the commandments themselves (along with the audio time stamps) including some quotes and extracts from the audio that I found especially interesting (in italics).

1: Expect rejection. [09:14]

2: Hire like your life depends on it. It does. [19:26]

“A combination of Persistence and Curiosity (what you care about) is a great indicator of future success of a knowledge worker” - Eric Schmidt

“For sales, we hire Olympian and football players, because it indicates the level of discipline they have developed at an early age.” - Eric Schmidt

“Are your people self confident enough to have people stronger than them around them. You should never hire someone to work for you who you would not like to work for (in an alternate universe”)” -  Mark Zuckerberg 

3: In order to scale, you have to do things that don’t scale. [25:37]

4: Raise more money than you think you need — potentially a lot more. [36:18]

"Take the money whenever and wherever it becomes available. You never know when funding might become unavailable." -Reid Hoffman

5: Release your products early enough that they can still embarrass you. Imperfect is perfect. [44:45]

6: Decide. Decide. Decide. [1:00:16]

The fighter pilot who has the faster OODA loop wins. The other one dies.” - Silicon Valley saying (OODA = Military origin decision cycle of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act.).

Commandment 7: Be prepared to both make and break plans. [1:03:13]

“Figure out what your systems are going to be later (when you become a larger company) and do it now” - Sheryl Sandberg. (She provides the “not so silly” example of how there was resentment among employees when Facebook - since it had become large so quickly - had to take back its practice of celebrating everyone’s birthday.)

8: Don’t tell your employees how to innovate. [1:07:21]

9: To create a winning company culture, make sure every employee owns it. [01:12:32]

Netflix compares themselves to sport teams (which is about performance) and not family (since the latter implies unconditional love).

10: Have grit and stick with your hero’s journey. [1:23:22]

11: Pay it forward. Use the momentum of your own success to move the success of others. [1:26:03]

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How to Avoid the Time Sinks called Meetings

A great episode of Seeking Wisdom points out why and how any company that is serious about productivity, should minimize its number of meetings. If at all, these Necessary Evils need to happen, the accompanying blog post provides some "guardrails". Extracts:

  • Please try to minimize the number of meetings we have. Try hard to get it done without a meeting.
  • When you do have a meeting please keep them small and focused on a clear agenda. Unless the meeting is a 1:1 there should be clear questions we are trying to answer during the meeting.
  • No Sidebars — please don’t have side conversations during a meeting.
  • No Laptops / Phones. Unless you’re presenting please leave your laptop/phone behind.
  • Participate or excuse yourself — if you’re not adding value or could spend your time better please politely excuse yourself from the meeting. One exception, all-hands meetings.