What’s the best way to create a successful small company?

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

Of the four core qualities that he has observed make up most successful entrepreneurs and business-building, they know when to dial up…or dial town. They know when to emphasize passion, lower the pitch on assertion and bypass analytical smarts in favor of creative thinking or relational skills. In short, they’re as fluid and adaptable as the businesses they run.

What’s the best way to be a good manager?

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

Do away with archaic command-and-control models. Winning workplaces are horizontal, not hierarchical.Everyone who works there feels they’re part of something, and moreover, that it’s the next big thing. They want to be on the cutting-edge of all the people, places and things that technology is going to propel next.

What’s the best way to recruit?

Sarah Allen (Product Leader at 18F)
little rules for working life – the evolving ultrasaurus

The #1 job of a good manager is hiring and retaining great people. Never hire until you’ve interviewed at least three great candidates. Move fast on a great candidate. If all of your candidates look the same, you have a recruiting problem. Always be recruiting.

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

Hire smart and hire the very best people you can. Don’t just onboard someone to fill a slot. Instead, build a community. Keep asking yourself not just what you want and need, but what’s best for the organization to grow and evolve.

Chad Dickerson (CEO & President @ Etsy)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Chad Dickerson – AVC

Typically, candidates want to know two basic things about your company: 1) how is the company doing from a business standpoint? and 2) does this company operate in a way that I can believe in? The second is arguably more important than the first, since performance metrics rise and fall, valuations go up and down, and stock prices fluctuate. Culture and values persist.

Bill McComb (Former CEO at Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc.)
How to hire – drill a well before you need a drink | A Founder’s Notebook

Drill a well before you need a drink

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Donna White – AVC

Recognize recruiting as a source of opportunity beyond hiring. The insights gained, and discoveries and contacts made during the recruiting process can be an invaluable investment into your business. For instance, you may learn of business opportunities, build your network, gain market intelligence, be exposed to new ways of thinking and of doing things, and introduce your product to people who will become evangelists.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Donna White – AVC

Use the activities involved in recruiting to strengthen abilities that will contribute to your overall effectiveness. There are elements of recruiting that you probably already enjoy and that exercise the same abilities that you use in other aspects of running your business, such as: creating something out of nothing, analyzing and solving problems, devising strategies, making new contacts, crafting and relaying your company’s story, negotiatin… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Best Hiring Practices – AVC

Your company should have a jobs page. Even if you are a five person startup, you should have one. It should articulate what it is like to work at your company and list any open jobs. It should be linked to at the bottom of your webpage, right next to the link to your about page. This is important. Don’t put it off.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Best Hiring Practices – AVC

Do not take the “put the job opening up and let the applicants come” approach. That will not get you the best people. You must go out and find the talent you want to hire. You can use your existing team, that is where the best leads always come from. You can use your network. You can use recruiters, both contingency and retained, and you can use services like LinkedIn and Indeed. You want to cast a wide net and work hard to source the best candid… (read more)


Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Where To Find Strong Talent – AVC

The kind of people you want to hire for your company are in short supply and they are rarely out looking for a job. You have to go find them and recruit them to join your team. But where to look?
Here are some suggestions:
1) People you know and people your team knows. 2) People who work for your competition. 3) Companies that have been recently purchased. 4) Other parts of the country and the world. 5) Colleges. 6) The big companies in your ma… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Turning Your Team – AVC

A serial entrepreneur I know tells me “you will turn your team three times on the way from startup to a business of scale.” What he means is that the initial team will depart, replaced by another team, which in turn will be replaced by yet another team.

Susan Loh (Head of People @ ClassPass)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Susan Loh – AVC

When the time came to figure out how to scale HR & Recruiting at foursquare, I felt that I could solve the above issues by merging the two organizations into one unified Talent Team. I view the Talent Team as a full service organization that is with you from the day you apply to the company to the day you leave the company. We are responsible for recruiting, onboarding, training, developing, and retaining great people. Our performance is measured… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Starting and Finishing – AVC

The skills that get you from idea, through initial product, past product market fit, and into a market leading company are very different from what it takes to manage a 200-500-1000 person global business that needs to exectute well across a range of dimensions and keep everyone aligned, motivated, and working well together.

What’s the best way to evaluate a potential hire?

Claudio Fernandez-Araoz (Executive Board of Quilmes International, General Manager of the Quilmes Brewery)
21st-Century Talent Spotting

The first indicator of potential we look for is the right kind of motivation: a fierce commitment to excel in the pursuit of unselfish goals. We consider motivation first because it is a stable—and usually unconscious—quality. If someone is driven purely by selfish motives, that probably won’t change. We then consider four other qualities that are hallmarks of potential, according to our research: Curiosity: a penchant for seeking out new experie… (read more)

Jason Lemkin (Managing Director at Storm Ventures, SaaStr.com)
From the perspective of a CEO, what are the most underrated skills most employees lack? – Quora

Ownership. Most employees just can’t be owners. This may not matter at Adobe, or Google, or wherever. But up until you have 500 employees or so, the CEO is looking for owners. People that don’t just play a role, but truly own something, that make 100% sure it comes in ahead of time and ahead of expectations — with as little drama as possible.

Rachel Feintzeig (WSJ management reporter)
The Boss Doesn’t Want Your Résumé – WSJ

Bosses say blind hiring reveals true talents and results in more diverse hires. So-called “blind hiring” redacts information like a person’s name or alma mater, so that hiring managers form opinions based only on that person’s work. Companies invite job candidates to perform a challenge — writing a software program, say — and bring the top performers in for interviews or, eventually, job offers.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Kind of Ambition – Ben’s Blog

People who view the world through the me prism might describe a prior company’s failure in an interview as follows: “My last job was my e-commerce play. I felt that it was important to round out my resume.” Note the use of “my” to personalize the company in a way that it’s unlikely that anyone else at the company would agree with. In fact, the other employees in the company might even be offended by this usage. People with the right kind of ambi… (read more)

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Right Kind of Ambition – Ben’s Blog

On the other hand, people who view the world purely through the team prism will very seldom use the words “I” or “me” even when answering questions about their accomplishments. Even in an interview, they will deflect credit to others on their previous team. They will tend to be far more interested in how your company will win than how they will be compensated or what their career path will be.

David Heinemeier Hansson (Partner at Basecamp)
The limits of trying to test people when you’re hiring | A Founder’s Notebook

The only reliable gauge I’ve found for future programmer success is looking at real code they’ve written, talking through bigger picture issues, and, if all that is swell, trying them out for size.

Basecamp (Basecamp is a project management tool that offers a variety of customer service options.)
This advice on how to get a job tells managers exactly what to look for when hiring | A Founder’s Notebook

When you’re hiring, seek out people who are managers of one. Whats that mean? A manager of one is someone who comes up with their own goals and executes them.

Alex Jumašev (Founder & CEO of Jitbit)
Startup hacks we learned in 2013

Instead of asking tricky interview questions trying to understand if someone is a good fit – hire them for a task after a very basic interview. And “friendly-fire” them in case they fail.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
How to hire senior executives for your startup | A Founder’s Notebook

Get backdoor and front-door references

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Hiring millennials – what to avoid | A Founder’s Notebook

Great people don’t have a sense of entitlement. They’re prepared to roll up their sleeves to get stuff done. And because they succeed, they end up with better careers and far greater financial rewards than the people who feel entitled.

Dharmesh Shah (Co-founder and CTO of HubSpot)
Happy Birthday HubSpot! 9 Lessons From Our First 9 Years

Imagine you hired this person. Would you issue a press release to let the world know that you brought this awesome person on board? If so, you’re probably more focused on what they’ve done instead of what they will do for you. Don’t get me wrong, if you can get someone that’s a great fit and they’ve accomplished something in the past, and you think that’ll translate to doing great things at your company, go for it — and may the force be with y… (read more)

Laszlo Bock (SVP of People Operations for Google)
How to get a job at Google

The no. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I. Q. It’s learning ability. [The second] is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. What else? Humility and ownership.

Marina Janeiko (Developer at GitLab Inc)
What to look for when hiring someone to work remotely | A Founder’s Notebook

What skills or mindsets are you looking for when hiring for remote positions? People who write well, since most communication is written. People who are self motivated, since there is no one around to tell them what to do. People who are curious, because they tend to try things rather than sitting around and waiting for instruction.

Mark Zuckerberg (Founder & Chairman & CEO at Facebook)
How To Get Ahead: Entrepreneurial Lessons From Mark Zuckerberg

Over time, what I figured out was that the only actual way to let someone analyze whether someone was really good was if they would work for that person. (in essence “Would you want to work for this person?”)

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Is it OK to Hire People from Your Friend’s Company? – Ben’s Blog

[When considering hiring an employee from a friend’s company…] once the you become aware of the conflict between hiring the superstar employee and double-crossing your valued friend, you should get the issue onto the table by informing the employee that you have an important business relationship with his existing company and you will have to complete a reference check with the CEO prior to extending the offer. Let him know that if he does not … (read more)

Dr. Todd Dewett (Executive Coach)
Trial periods and deferring premium pay | A Founder’s Notebook

Use non-permanent initial employment. Defer premium pay. Instead, go market or submarket. Are you willing to pay top wages for top talent? Yes. Should you pay it before seeing what they can do? No.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Is it OK to Hire People from Your Friend’s Company? – Ben’s Blog

A good rule of thumb is the reflexive principle of employee raiding which states: “if you would be shocked and horrified if company X hired several of your employees, then you should not hire any of theirs.” The number of such companies should be small and may very well be zero.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Gaurav Dhillon 2.0 and His All New Integration Company – Ben’s Blog

In summary, one general rule of mine is don’t hire or fund rich people. The reason? Building a technology company is hard. It’s really frackin’ hard. Many of the tasks that you do when building one are no fun. When things go wrong as they always do, it’s no fun at all. Rich people tend to like to work on things that they enjoy, because if they don’t enjoy it, well, they are already rich. When the going gets tough, the rich get going . . . to thei… (read more)

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Hiring Executives: If You’ve Never Done the Job, How Do You Hire Somebody Good? – Ben’s Blog

Know what you want. [Avoid] hiring on look and feel, looking for someone out of central casting, and valuing lack of weakness rather than strength

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Hiring Executives: If You’ve Never Done the Job, How Do You Hire Somebody Good? – Ben’s Blog

The very best way to know what you want is to act in the role. Not just in title, but in real action—run the team meeting, hold 1:1s with the staff, set objectives, etc. In addition to acting in the role, it helps greatly to bring in domain experts.

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

Winning contemporary workplaces stress innovation. They believe that employees need to be given an opportunity to make a difference – to give input into key decisions and to communicate their findings and learnings to one another.

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

Avoid hiring only superstars. It’s about company teams, not just the individual. Sure, it’s totally tempting to create an All-Star team, but in case you hadn’t noticed, those people don’t pass the ball, they just shoot it.

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

New hires are more than just the college or university they attended. In short, don’t hire credentials, hire people.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Best Hiring Practices – AVC

Hiring is a process and should be treated as such. It is serious business. The first step is building a hiring roadmap which should lay out the hiring plan over time by job type. This should be built into your operating plan and budget. You want to be very strategic about how you invest your scarce resources into hiring and think carefully about when you need to add resources.

Ryan Howard (Founder @ Practice Fusion)
Transcript: Protecting yourself as the founder; Ryan Howard | VatorNews

The wrong leader – choosing the wrong leader can set your company back by more than a year. I’ve seen this first hand multiple times. Let’s take sales for example. It might take three to six months to hire someone, another three months to get them on board and that’s actually being quite friendly. On the life sciences front, I’ve had searches using professional search firms that take more than a year. It can be quite painful to find the right per… (read more)

Ryan Howard (Founder @ Practice Fusion)
Transcript: Protecting yourself as the founder; Ryan Howard | VatorNews

What I found over time is that definitively, they should be able to do the job, but in addition, they would have to be a culture fit. The reality is you’re going to spend more time with these individuals likely than your partner or spouse so you have to get along. It’s the only way that you’re going to build long term value together. Total assholes, again, will just ruin your culture. Whether other people admit it or not, people will quit because… (read more)

Mitchell Harper (Co-Founder & Board Member @ Bigcommerce)
28 things I’d do differently next time around — Medium

Assume all resumes are B.S. and back channel at least 5 people who worked with, for and above each candidate

Ryan Hoover (Founder at Product Hunt)
Blogging is the New Resume

Blogging is the new resume. Blogging is an effective way to illustrate expertise, personality, and most importantly, thought process. The way product managers, UX designers, and other “non-technical” roles think, communicates their ability and culture fit. Resumes lack this entirely…

Ryan Hoover (Founder at Product Hunt)
Startup Lessons Growing from 10 to 100 | Ryan Hoover

Hire people that intimidate you.

Ben Foster (Currently advising 10+ companies, 16 yrs PM/UX experience, VP Product at Opower, PM at eBay)
The Best Personality Type for Product Management – PM Rant

If I were forced to hire based on Myers-Briggs alone, I would hire my first Product Manager as an INTJ. Entire U. S. population: only 2. 1% is INTJ. eBay Product Management: INTJ accounted for over 50%

Ryan Howard (Founder @ Practice Fusion)
Transcript: Protecting yourself as the founder; Ryan Howard | VatorNews

Check references. I never check any references a candidate gives me, board or executive candidate. Go on Linkedin, do the due diligence, get the real data because if you don’t, you’re going to find out the hard way.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to test job candidates for “learning agility” | A Founder’s Notebook

How good are the questions this person asks?

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: No direction home

Can you show me a history of generous, talented, extraordinary side projects?
Have you ever been so passionate about your work that you’ve gone in through the side door? re you an expert at something that actually generates value?
Have you connected with leaders in the field in moments when you weren’t actually looking for a job? Does your reputation speak for itself?
Where online can I see the trail of magic you regularly create?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Can you be a great business leader if you’re lazy? | A Founder’s Notebook

Clever and lazy people make good modern business leaders because they:insist on taking the time and space required to create, and to find new ways forward; are natural delegators; are always looking for simpler, easier ways to do things; focus on the essentials, and despise ‘busywork’. But perhaps a better description than “lazy” would be “always looking for scalable solutions which reduce brute labor and complexity”.

What’s the best way to create a successful small company?

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Default Alive or Default Dead?

When I talk to a startup that’s been operating for more than 8 or 9 months, the first thing I want to know is almost always the same. Assuming their expenses remain constant and their revenue growth is what it’s been over the last several months, do they make it to profitability on the money they have left? Or to put it more dramatically, by default do they live or die? If the company is default alive, we can talk about ambitious new things they … (read more)

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Growth and Government – Sam Altman

The first piece of startup wisdom I heard was increasing your sales will fix all problems. This turns out to be another way of phrasing Paul Graham’s point that growth is critical.

David Cancel (CEO, Co-Founder at Drift)
3 Startup Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Believe me failing sucks really bad but there are no repeatable patterns that lead to startup success. None. Stop looking for one and just f***ing do it

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Before the Startup

It’s not that important to know a lot about startups. The way to succeed in a startup is not to be an expert on startups, but to be an expert on your users and the problem you’re solving for them.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
The separation of advice and money – Sam Altman

Great advice is really important; some founders don’t appreciate this initially (I was guilty of it) but always learn to. But great advice does not have to come from venture capitalists; it often comes from people like former founders.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is – AVC

I’ve heard a lot of ideas over the years that, like this options strike price plan, sound too good to be true. And in most cases, they were just that.
I have developed a deep skepticism around anything that sounds like a free lunch. As the saying goes, there is no such thing.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Economic Inequality

Determination is the most important factor in deciding between success and failure, which in startups tend to be sharply differentiated.

Amir Elaguizy (CEO Cratejoy, YC Alumni)
58 things I learned at YC – Giftshop Scientist

It gets harder, not easier

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
By endurance we conquer – Sam Altman

You can win by endurance. Most startups don’t die at the hands of a competitor. It’s more often something like an internal implosion, the founders giving up, or not building something people want.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

Don’t give up. Even if you get demoralized, don’t give up. You can get surprisingly far by just not giving up. This isn’t true in all fields.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup advice, briefly – Sam Altman

Become formidable. Also become tough. The road ahead is going to be painful and make you doubt yourself many, many times. Work really hard. Everyone wants a secret to success other than this; if it exists, I haven’t found it yet.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Advice for 2013: Deliver On Your Promises – AVC

There has been a lot of discussion out there about the Series A crunch, the consumer sector falling out of favor, VCs getting more conservative, the need to focus on revenues instead of users, and so on and so forth. At times like this I think it is critical to focus hard on the most important things for your business. That could be revenues but may not be. That could be user traction but may not be.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
You Are Not Your Work – AVC

Failure can sow the seeds of success. It did for me. It did for Mark Pincus when he turned the failure of Tribe into the success of Zynga. It has done the same for countless others. But to get through failure, you need to be able to separate who you are and what your work is.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

If I had to distill my advice about how to operate down to only two words, I’d pick focus and intensity. These words seem to really apply to the best founders I know.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Taking the Mystery out of Scaling a Company – Ben’s Blog

If you want to do something that matters, then you are going to have to learn the black art of scaling a human organization.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Capital And Success – AVC

It is what you build, how you go to market with it, and how you monetize it that will determine your success. By all means raise money, from USV if at all possible, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that raising money is the secret to success. It is decidedly not.

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

Of the four core qualities that he has observed make up most successful entrepreneurs and business-building, they know when to dial up…or dial town. They know when to emphasize passion, lower the pitch on assertion and bypass analytical smarts in favor of creative thinking or relational skills. In short, they’re as fluid and adaptable as the businesses they run.

What’s the best way to be a good manager?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Minimize internal co-ordination costs | A Founder’s Notebook

Minimize internal co-ordination costs

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
What makes a great employee — Cameron Purdy | A Founder’s Notebook

There are three areas where VPs should ask their CEO questions: (i) Have I understood my goals correctly? (ii) Have I understood your input correctly? (iii) Can you help me solve my problems and achieve my goals?

Jeffrey Pfeffer (Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business)
Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-based Management

When a group does creative work, a large body of research shows that the more that authority figures hang around, the more questions they ask, and especially the more feedback they give their people, the less creative the work will be. Why? Because doing creative work entails constant setbacks and failure, and people want to succeed when the boss is watching.

Peter Fenton (General Partner at Benchmark)
Sunday Conversation #1: Peter Fenton, Benchmark Capital – Haywire

My partner, Bob, likes to say, “Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all. ” Being a learn-it-all means you have to be very self-effacing around what you do and don’t know, apply critical thinking, and don’t assume that what you’ve been told is right. That trait is a muscle, I think, that you have to continually work on

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Practical advice on how to train your managers | A Founder’s Notebook

Management training is the best place to start setting expectations for your management team. Do you expect them to hold regular one-on-one meetings with their employees? Do you expect them to give performance feedback? Do you expect them to train their people? Do you expect them to agree on objectives with their team? If you do, then you’d better tell them

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Being metrics-driven leads to brutal intellectual honesty | A Founder’s Notebook

Being metrics-driven leads to brutal intellectual honesty. If your success is defined entirely by how well you achieve your goals and metrics, you’ll care only about which arguments are correct and which ideas are the best, irrespective of who they come from. Getting managers to be truly metrics-driven is far harder than it seems. In my experience, it also requires significant coaching.

John Beeson (Principal of Beeson Consulting)
Let Your Team Help You Manage Your Time

A few years ago I was asked to coach an executive I’ll call Tom. I suggested that Tom give thought to four questions: 1. Where could he add the greatest value to the company in his new role? 2. What were the topics and issues he should be intimately involved in — and which could he off-load to staff? 3. How was he spending his time today — and how would he like to be spending his time six months from now in order to devote adequate time to his v… (read more)

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

Extreme internal transparency around metrics (and financials) is a good thing to do. For some reason, founders are always really scared of this. But it’s great for keeping the whole company focused on growth.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The best career advice you can give in two minutes | A Founder’s Notebook

People are most successful at what they most enjoy. “What you most enjoy” is determined by types of activities, not domain subject matter. The types of activities you enjoy are deeply related to your personality type. So find what you love doing (by thinking about which types of activities best fit your personality type), and go work for a fast-growing company doing those activities

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Can you reduce the startup CEO role to a single key talent? | A Founder’s Notebook

You can’t do everything well at once, you have to rotate your focus to whichever aspect of your business needs the most attention.

Laszlo Bock (SVP of People Operations for Google)
Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

1. Be a good coach. 2. Empower the team and do not micromanage. 3. Express interest / concern for team members’ success and personal well-being. 4. Be very productive / results oriented. 5. Be a good communicator — listen and share information. 6. Help the team with career development. 7. Have a clear vision / strategy for the team. 8. Have important technical skills that help advise the team.

Nick Mehta (CEO at Gainsight)
The Second-Timers: Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight – “Never Stop Hiring Reps” | SaaStr

You need to focus on product. You need to be sales-oriented. You need to be customer-centric. You need to be all about culture. The business model depends on all functions working in harmony.

Tony Simons (Associate Professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration)
The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word

Where employees strongly believed their managers followed through on promises and demonstrated the values they preached were substantially more profitable than those whose managers scored average or lower. No other single aspect of manager behavior that we measured had as large an impact on profits

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
How Well Do You Take A Punch? – AVC

The best entrepreneurs do this well. They can take a hit and keep moving forward. And they can rally their teams to do the same thing. That latter point is so important. If the leader is down for the count, the team doesn’t have a chance. But if the leader is up and moving forward, with passion and committment to the goal, then the team will follow.

Jack Welch (former CEO of General Electric)
Jack Welch’s Legacy – The Globalist

Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
The No-Nonsense Business Advice You Need to Hear | Inc.com

For bosses, I think the hardest thing is letting people make their own mistakes. Resisting the desire to intervene. It’s the whole question of whether you are controlling people or coaching people. You can’t do both.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Don’t Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste – AVC

When something goes badly in your company, for many the initial instinct is to keep things under wraps as much as possible to avoid freaking everyone out. I would argue that it is better to acknowledge the crisis and use it to your advantage.
Change is hard to bring to an organization and a time of crisis is often a perfect time to make some changes that you have wanted to make for a while. It creates a perfect backdrop and context for doing tha… (read more)

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to get stuff done | A Founder’s Notebook

Be clear about what you need to get done. Go for quick wins. A “Quick Win” is a small project you can get done fast which leads to tangible results. Quick wins are crucial because you learn from successes, not from failures. Don’t let small projects become large projects before they launch. Maximize what you can get done on your own. Identify the key person you need to collaborate with, and don’t involve anyone else.

Henry Ward (Founder & CEO at eShares)
eShares 101 — Medium

[at eShares we say… ] You will do a 1-on-1 walk with your manager every 2–3 weeks, with your manager’s manager every 4–6 weeks, and with me every 4–6 months. Go for a walk for 30-40 minutes. Have fun — this is your time. Talk about what’s on your mind. It doesn’t need to be work related.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Managers and metrics | A Founder’s Notebook

Owning a metric means taking complete responsibility for success in that metric. In Seeking Alpha, “owning a metric” means taking responsibility for the success of that metric in the medium term. Every manager reports metrics monthly, but we care about medium term success. If you miss a monthly target, the key to medium term success is to take the short term miss seriously. If you explain away your monthly metrics, you’ve thrown away their value … (read more)

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Managers and metrics | A Founder’s Notebook

It’s the CEO’s responsibility to make sure that every manager personally owns a meaningful metric. Owning a metric means taking complete responsibility for success in that metric. If you justify misses in your metric after the fact, you don’t own the metric — you’re “a best efforts guy”.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
The Scale Anticipation Fallacy – Ben’s Blog

Managing at scale is a learned skill rather than a natural ability. Nobody comes out of the womb knowing how to manage a thousand people. Everybody learns at some point

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Setting clear goals = empowerment | A Founder’s Notebook

When you give people clear goals and metrics, it releases them from being micro-managed at the task level.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Setting clear goals = empowerment | A Founder’s Notebook

In many roles, being given responsibility for a measurable goal also allows employees to manage their time as they want to. That can be particularly important for companies that want to create a culture which is attractive to people who care about family time

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Saying “no” to good ideas | A Founder’s Notebook

The job of a great manager is to focus the company’s limited resources on what’s most impactful. That means saying “no” to good ideas. Saying “no” to bad ideas is easy. It’s the good ideas that can distract and de-focus you

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
A better way to view people | A Founder’s Notebook

Try to place each person in a role where their strengths have the biggest impact and their weaknesses and flaws don’t matter.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Ones and Twos – Ben’s Blog

CEOs that [insist upon super clear goals and strongly prefer not to change goals or direction unless absolutely necessary], despite their love of action, can sometimes slow decision making in a company to a halt.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Becoming A Boss – AVC

Many artists stick to making and hire a manager to focus on their business. You can devote yourself totally and completely to the manager role and hire people to lead the making effort. The third way is to keep your hands in both efforts. To be both the maker and the manager. The challenge with that approach is you have two full time jobs and I have not seen many who can do both as well as they need to be done. I cannot and will not recommend one… (read more)

Dr. Dana Ardi (Corporate Anthropology Advisors)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Dr. Dana Ardi – AVC

Do away with archaic command-and-control models. Winning workplaces are horizontal, not hierarchical.Everyone who works there feels they’re part of something, and moreover, that it’s the next big thing. They want to be on the cutting-edge of all the people, places and things that technology is going to propel next.

Angela Baldonero (Senior Vice President of People and Client Success @ Return Path)
MBA Mondays: Guest Post From Angela Baldonero – AVC

My advice to you is to set your people free to focus on important, high impact work and solve challenging business problems. That’s how companies will win now.

Joel Spolsky (CEO @ Stack Exchange)
The Management Team – Guest Post From Joel Spolsky – AVC

The “management team” isn’t the “decision making” team. It’s a support function. You may want to call them administration instead of management, which will keep them from getting too big for their britches. Administrators aren’t supposed to make the hard decisions. They don’t know enough. All those super genius computer scientists that you had to recruit from MIT at great expense are supposed to make the hard decisions. That’s why you’re paying t… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Loose/tight, thoughts on management

But mostly, we need the insight and judgment and leverage that employees bring us. All of us are smarter than any of us, and adding people can, if we do it right, make us smarter and faster and better at serving our customers. It can’t work, though, if you insist that the employees read your mind. If you have to spend as much time watching and measuring your team as the team spends working, then you might as well just do the work yourself. We fai… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Volunteer engagement

The key elements are: An agenda, Peer support, A hierarchy of achievement, Better structures lead to better work. People who care can magnify their impact by building structures that bring in more people who care.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Tech Ops As A Metaphor For Building, Running, & Leading A Company – AVC

Blameless post-mortems are the key to learning from a tech ops crisis – fear driven organizations do not scale. Over-reacting to a crisis is likely to make it worse.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Two key questions for every manager | A Founder’s Notebook

Managers should ask themselves two simple questions: How many experiments are my team running at any moment? And How rapid is our pace of experimenting?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to ensure that things get done using 3 W’s | A Founder’s Notebook

How to ensure that things get done using 3 W’s. 1. Who (is responsible) 2. What (needs to be done) 3. When (is it due)

Jack Dorsey (Co-Founder, CEO at Twitter and Square)
Jack Dorsey: The CEO as Chief Editor – YouTube

This happens in three ways: tending the team dynamic (adding/removing people), internal and external communications, and minding the money situation (getting money in the bank). That’s it.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Mark Pincus’ management advice – make everyone the CEO of something | A Founder’s Notebook

Mark Pincus’ management advice – make everyone the CEO of something. I met Mark for the first time this week. He said he still believes in the principle of “everyone’s a CEO of something”, but only when your company has fewer than 1,000 people.

Tomasz Tunguz (Partner at Redpoint Ventures)
Startup Best Practices 1 – Situational Management

High motivation, low skill: the most typical state for an employee to be in after he has been hired or promoted. He is excited and energetic but unfamiliar with the particulars of the job, or the company, or the culture. Somewhat counterintuitively, the best management technique in this situation is micromanagement… The best way to do this is by frequent check-ins, updates, and feedback. Applied this way, micromanagement provides the employee ver… (read more)

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to write a monthly report for your investors or manager | A Founder’s Notebook

In Seeking Alpha, every team leader and “metric owner” writes a monthly report. The Seeking Alpha manager’s monthly report is a Google doc shared with the whole company. It must not exceed one page. It contains four sections: (i) Key Metrics (ii) Candidly, How Successful Was I This Month? (iii) Top Things To Figure Out (iv) Goals For Next Month.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: How to deal with seams

How to deal with seams. a. There is no seam. We’ve finessed the seam so thoroughly, you can’t even tell. This doctor knows everything about the situation as seen by the last doctor, no need to worry about the handoff. You can’t tell where one part of the railing ends and the other begins. Your place in the queue and your records and your status are so clear to the next agent that it won’t matter a bit to you that there was a switch. b. There is a… (read more)

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
How Andreessen Horowitz Evaluates CEOs – Ben’s Blog

[Determine] whether or not the CEO can effectively run the company. To test this, I like to ask this question: “how easy is it for any given individual contributor to get their job done?”

Jeffrey Minch (Entrepreneur – ‎Littlefield Advisors)
The Management Team – Guest Post From JLM – AVC

Do not make changes, conduct experiments. Nobody can resist an experiment. Experiments that work well have a thousand fathers and mothers. It becomes their idea.