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How to win in the #StartupLife
Running a startup is not for everyone. It’s as soothing as a charging bear and as relaxing as solving physics at gunpoint. Over lava.
No one knows this more than Molly Graham, current COO of Quip, ex-director/manager of Facebook Mobile, and former communications manager of Google.
She recently did a Q&A with First Round Review covering all the points of a startup's life, from infancy to maturity, its effects on the employees, and all the rules surrounding it. While I do believe it’s a must read for anyone interested in the startup scene, here are a few choice bits from it for anyone hoping to get a leg up – or looking to take a quick peek – at the trials and the tribulations of the startup lifestyle. I think it even applies for those in finance too.
On the effects of scaling on employees:
The emotions you feel when new people are coming in and taking over pieces of your job — it’s not that different from how a kid feels when they have to share their Legos. There’s a lot of natural anxiety and insecurity that the new person won’t build your Lego tower in the right way, or that they'll get to take all the fun or important Legos, or that if they take over the part of the Lego tower you were building, then there won’t be any Legos left for you. But at a scaling company, giving away responsibility — giving away the part of the Lego tower you started building — is the only way to move on to building bigger and better things.
On building your company through your hires:
Google, Facebook, and others have all conducted studies about what predicts the performance of a new hire. The single biggest indicator is who they were referred by. If you have high performers referring people, you’ll hire high performers. If you let low performers stay on staff because you’re too scared or insecure to fire them, then you’re building your future company in that mold.
On your company’s culture:
“The question is, what do you want your company to be like? When you see a trend over time that you don’t like, you need to aggressively manage it. Otherwise you can end up with some really bad habits as a company.”
Check out the whole article, you’ll be glad you did.
Photo: Joel Gillman