Nine Rules for Building a Powerhouse Team at Your Company

Over the past few months I’ve built my team at Privy from a one-man show to a group of four that I am extremely proud of and excited to come work with every day. In that process, I talked to a lot of people, lots of whom I liked a lot—even if they weren’t the right fit for this company at this time. (Both of those matter.) Between that experience and my own job searches in the last few years, I’ve been thinking a lot about where the process goes right and where it goes wrong. Along the way, I’ve put together a few takeaways worth sharing for anyone in a similar position. While I haven’t always followed these rules, I certainly try. 1. This company and this time matter. There are lots of really smart people who could be a great hire in a vacuum. But as companies grow and change, so does the skill set needed to be successful. For example, early stage companies need doers who can think but can’t afford people who are unwilling to roll up their sleeves every day (at least for a w

Wait, when did I become the "slow down" guy?

Wait, when did I become the "slow down" guy? Fast, not flawless. Get shit done. Ship it. Sell it.  All common startup expressions. And I love them all. It's why I began working at startups and something I always prided myself on before I even entered the startup world.  So, why do I feel like I've become the guy who keeps saying "can we just slow down a little?" Other than simply getting older and grayer (I mean more experienced), here are three reasons I've been pumping the brakes a little.  Some things need to simmer to be properly cooked: discuss over coffee, have a conversation without a decision, really listen, think bigger or wider. Big time customers expect more: whether you've officially crossed the chasm or not, when you get those awesome logos that your sales team loves it means you need to treat  them like the enterprises that they are. They didn't buy you because you're a startup, they bought from you to solve a pr

Quick thoughts: Do You

I f you spend too much time doing your work the way other people want it, you risk losing what makes YOUR work great.  The trick is finding the balance of your own strengths and the needs/process of the people you work. That balance is what lets you create things that both you and your manager are proud of.

Three signs you've made a good hire

Hiring is hard.  Especially in a small company where one under-performer can put a big hole in the ship - the pressure to get it right is immense.  So, how do you know quickly if you've made a good choice for the short term and long term?  Here are three things I look for: They ask a lot of questions: Everyone wants to come in and add value from day one, but good employees know what they know and aren't afraid to get the information they need to get smart fast. While answering all of those questions takes a lot of time it's a good sign that they'll soak it all in and become a source of information for others over time. They set themselves free: New employees can be scared to go to other departments for help. It's human nature to be cautious when going out of the comfy confines of a team, but those are the people who will be advocates for your mission in short order and make themselves an integral part of the entire organization. They are hard on th

The difference between social posting and social media marketing

If you have a strategy, a plan, and goals you're doing social media marketing. If not, you're just posting stuff.  Strategy = what do you want people to think or do do differently by interacting with your social posts? How do they connect to your brand? How far afield do you want to go from what you actually "do"? Plan = How many times a day or week are you going to post? Who is going to do it? Where does the content come from? How much of it will be yours v. sharing other people's content?  Goals = How will you know if it's working? What do you expect for audience growth on a weekly or monthly basis? How does that translate into business success for you? If you can't answer all of those questions, you're not really doing social media marketing. But don't get discouraged, posting is way better than nothing and a great step towards becoming a social media marketer!