July 26, 2012

The Best Place to Work, Part 1: Surround yourself with the best and brightest

First in my series of posts around creating the best place to work  is to Surround yourself with the best and brightest.  This one is simple.  Build the best team you can possibly build…as you need it. As a founder, you may be the best person at doing everything in your company, especially if you are a technical founder.  But as my long-time Board member at Return Path Greg Sands always says, when the organism grows, cells start to specialize.  Eventually, you need a liver and a brain.  Just like companies need a head of sales and a CFO (not to imply that Anita likes the occasional cocktail or that Jack likes math – turns out both like both). How does this come into play as a CEO? -Don’t be afraid to hire people better than you at their specialty – older, wiser, more experienced, more expensive – Check references carefully – don’t get suckered in by resume or rolodex – some successful big company people don’t actually know how to do work or build a business, so you have to dig and find back-channel references – Don’t overhire before you’re ready, but especially as a start-up, better to hire 3 months […]