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Famous venture capital partners: 23 practical experiences and lessons on company construction (III)

2022-05-07 15:53:0736kr

The Bureau of translation is 36 Krypton's compiler team , Focus on Technology 、 business 、 In the workplace 、 Life and other fields , Focus on the introduction of foreign new technology 、 A new view 、 New wind .

Editor's note : Among many start-ups , Only a handful of companies will eventually succeed , There are few companies that can develop into large-scale companies . This article comes from compiling , This article introduces the payment giant Stripe Notes and collaboration tools Notion Christina, who is an executive of the company · Cordoba (Cristina Cordova) To share the 23 Practical experience and lessons about company construction , Hope to inspire you . Because of space , The article is divided into three parts . The third part mainly emphasizes the corporate culture 、 Experience and lessons from large-scale development and team building .

Stripe The company is Christina · Cordoba (Cristina Cordova) Company Notion Corporate credit cards issued .

Four 、 Maintain corporate culture and deal with large-scale problems

14. both : Focus on the first principle , Seek advice from others

When to create or draw on best practices , It is a problem that every entrepreneur has to face .“Stripe To a large extent, it is based on the first principles , Take every step of the company's construction steadily .” Cordoba said ,“ Startups tend to form a mindset , Focus only on the company itself , Reject everything ‘ A large company ’ Ideas . But in Stripe, We will consider the first principle , At the same time, I often consult others for advice . We often get in touch with other entrepreneurs and executives , Listen to their opinions .

Regarding this , Cordoba shared a specific example .“ When we first planned the development direction of the company , Founder Patrick gave me a small task , Let me talk to other companies , See how others do it . So then I Appointment A Google executive 、 One of Amazon's in charge of cloud technology business (AWS) Executives at , And before Facebook Mike as vice president · Vernal (Mike Vernal), Learn from them .Stripe Willing to draw useful experience from leading enterprises with previous relevant experience , Then make adjustments according to the actual situation .” Cordoba said .

“ We appreciate Amazon's ‘ Reverse working method ’(working backwards), That is, write a press release at the beginning of the development of new products . We learned from this practice , Each product team is required to make product planning , It must be clear what functions to deliver to users every quarter . This approach is very similar to Amazon's reverse working method , It's just that we applied it to relatively small functions , Not just on big projects .” Cordoba added .

15. Beware of the risk of not considering new teams or new positions for a long time

For others who are learning Stripe Start up companies related to the company's strategy , Cordoba specifically pointed out that , Be careful “ Copy and paste ”.“ I've heard a lot of small startups say ,‘Stripe The company didn't have a product manager until it grew to hundreds of employees , So we have to do the same .’ This is not our ‘ The secret of success ’. Don't mistakenly think we don't have a product management post , There are no team members with relevant responsibilities .” Cordoba said .

“ stay Stripe At the beginning of the company , Although the company has not set up a special product management post , But many people are actually playing the role of product manager . It works , Because the company's product is a developer product , But in your industry right now , It doesn't necessarily apply to you . With Stripe Our user base is growing , We need to be an accountant 、 In the context of product development by user support and other teams using this product , We also adjusted our strategy , Start recruiting full-time product managers to be responsible for product work .”

Besides , If you are with Stripe Get in touch with your people , Ask about the specific implementation of a practice within the company , You may also get some interesting discoveries .

“ Within a company , Different positions have different reputations . Sometimes , If you don't consider recruiting personnel for a certain position for a long time , Well, after the personnel of this post finally arrive , May face all kinds of problems . Delay in establishing a product management team , Lead to Stripe Some people inside think , The product management team may not be important , Or they will form a solid understanding of the specific responsibilities of the product manager after he arrives at the post . This will create a sense of distrust and fear that people must do everything themselves , Lead to the earliest Approved The product management team of the post is in the working party Surface Facing great challenges , It may even hinder work efficiency .”

When a new team is formed or a new position is set up , Be sure to take the time to clarify the content . such as , What are their specific responsibilities , What is the purpose of this practice ? Existing employees are how to fill the relevant vacancies ? What changes will the new team or new employees bring to them after they enter the job ? Of course, this content includes both the positive side , It also includes the potential negative side .

16. As employees , Although the former boss has become the boss of the new boss , But you can also look at things from another angle

“ What many early employees of start-ups are very afraid of is , With the continuous development of the company , The company will recruit or airborne more senior leaders as its bosses , And his former boss is even more unattainable . Regarding this , I feel the same way . When this happens to me , It took me a long time to really understand this approach from the perspective of the founder .” Cordoba said .

This practice at the company level has little to do with personal performance , On the contrary, it is closely related to the performance of the company . If the founder can recruit more experienced people to promote the development of the enterprise , Then they will never miss such an opportunity .

If you're in a similar situation , Cordoba also shared her solution in particular :“ Think of it as an opportunity , It can not only help the company find new leaders and future managers , And it can get you out of them Learning treasure Your experience . The only downside may be , In fact, the leaders recruited or airborne by the company do not have much use of force .”

17. As founder , When airborne leaders enter the company from outside, they must grasp the transparency

Of course , The founders want to ensure internal transparency , The only way is to discuss this issue openly with the team .“ Many companies have done very badly in this regard . A lot of times , The founder will only say ,‘ By the way , We just hired a sales executive .’ Regarding this , The reaction of many employees is ,‘ I didn't even know the company was hiring .’” Cordoba said .

“ contrary , You should tell the team :‘ I'm considering recruiting such a person , I'd like to hear your views on this , Find out if you are ready to accept such a person . What do you want to learn from the person in this position ? What things do you want to continue to do ? What things you don't want to do anymore ?’” Cordoba added .

Cristina · Cordoba (Cristina Cordova)

5、 ... and 、 Team building

18. Make a difference in recruitment with the help of economic factors

“ When I was recruiting the first partners , I'm under a lot of pressure . at that time , I'm not very experienced in Management ,Stripe The company has not entered a period of rapid development . Most of the team are engineers , Therefore, candidates applying for business development positions are also relatively cautious . Because I don't have a title myself , So you can't give others a clear title .” Cordoba said .

Cordoba found , Take the time to Introducing candidates to the company's equity can play a greater role in promoting . She said :“ Few companies do this , In startups , Only a few people really understand the company's equity . I made a special data table , Various assumptions are estimated above , such as , If Stripe The market value of the company remains unchanged 、 Double or quadruple , What will happen to your equity ?”

If you are a founder who is facing similar recruitment problems , There are other ways you can prove to the candidate that you really care about the financial benefits of your employees .“ Allow early exercise of options ; Extend the exercise period of the option to 10 year ; If you sell your equity after you get the financing , Long term employees can enjoy the same opportunities .” Cordoba added .

19. Try to put “ no way ” as “ Not for the time being ”

Cordoba mentioned , Now he is a non-profit organization of artificial intelligence OpenAI Chief technical officer 、 primary Stripe Chief technology officer Greg · Brockman (Greg Brockman) Let her realize “ Long term recruitment ” Importance .

“Stripe Have thrown olive branches at me many times , They are also persistently contacting me on their own initiative . After a few months , I finally accepted the job .” Cordoba said .

Join in Stripe After the company , Cordoba has always kept this valuable experience in mind . She mentioned ,“ When recruiting potential candidates , I used the same method . The candidate I declined will recommend other candidates to me , Some will even get hired in the end . I remember a candidate who first declined my invitation , But I finally accepted the job , Joined my team . All in all , I thank Greg very much , He made me always put ‘ no way ’ regard as ‘ Not for the time being ’.”

20. If you're looking for a position you've never experienced , It is recommended to practice

“ Especially after the completion of a round of financing , When the company needs to add many new jobs , It's easy to switch to one mode , I hope someone will do the work you don't want to do for you . But in fact , When you do these things yourself , Your harvest will be very big .” Cordoba said .

Take hiring the first marketer as an example .“ As founder , If you haven't figured out if you need developer Marketing 、 Performance marketing or channel marketing , Then the risk of hiring the wrong person will multiply .” Cordoba added .

However , Hands on methods are not always effective . Cordoba said ,“ stay Notion tenure , For the first time, I was responsible for recruiting development technology promotion engineers with technical engineering background , This position is mainly to help other organizations create our API. therefore , I contacted at Stripe A very excellent development technology promotion Engineer I knew when working in the company .”

He shared three questions with me , When you meet someone with a relatively senior background or who is unlikely to be recruited into the team , You can ask them these questions :

  • What kind of position can attract you to work here ?

  • Which factors are most important to you ?

  • Who are the five best development technology promotion engineers you have ever worked with ?

“ then , I contacted the people they mentioned one by one , Ask them the same question .” Cordoba said ,“ In the process , I'll also catch some interesting news , For example, many people think Netlify Provide a cloud platform hosted by static websites Netlify Very good .”

21. If you want to take over other teams across functions , Don't pretend to be an expert

Another common situation is , The leader of a key department leaves unexpectedly , And you have to fill the vacancy .“ In this regard , What we usually need to face is a crisis of trust . What you need to know is , Where can I help , In what areas can't help .” Cordoba said .

“ When I first managed the engineering team , I think it must be hard for me to adapt . When I first talked to an engineer , I mentioned , If he wants to explore API Some specific content of design , I may not be the ideal person , But I'll find the right person to give him advice .” Cordoba said ,“ He also responded that , I've never discussed this with my boss before , Basically, they get technical feedback from colleagues .”

Many problems in the team , Like communication 、 organization 、 Strategy and so on , In fact, it has nothing to do with function .

in fact , It's also helpful to think outside the team .“ The best engineers often want to generate business value , So my business resume is also a kind of capital , Be able to give them more specific feedback , Let them find more opportunities for growth .” Cordoba added .

22. stay “ Blind ” It's best to think twice before hiring

When the company's valuation starts to rise 、 When the media reports more and more , It will also attract more potential candidates .“ When a very talented candidate comes to apply for a job , You'll be eager to hire them . But what you need to think about is , Who will really add to the existing team .” Cordoba said .

“ I've seen a situation many times , There is already a very excellent product marketing staff in the company , But then came a good candidate for Marketing Director . Its area of expertise is still product marketing , But what you really need is demand mining . therefore , The candidate is still unable to fill the vacancy , It may also cause damage to the existing team .” Cordoba added .

Regarding this , You'd better take a step back and think , Don't focus on the candidate . Cordoba suggested ,“ Write down the existing skills and vacant skills of the existing team , Then in the face of new candidates , Ask yourself if this person really meets the needs of the team ? Or am I doing this just to blindly match the needs ?

23. Always remember , The ultimate goal is not to build a larger team

“ Many management recommendations refer to , Be sure to focus on the areas that need you most , Not what you think you're best at . There are also reasons why this proposal is generally accepted . From a personal point of view , It's really not easy to maintain this practice . But I found that , Except for the individual , In a team or a functional area , This suggestion also applies . With the development of the company , The size of the team, including engineering or sales, will continue to grow , But partnerships cannot be compared .” Cordoba said .

“ When a certain type of transaction is completed for the first time , For example, with cross-border e-commerce platforms Shopify When establishing distribution partnerships , There are many details, differences and complex problems to pay attention to . But such transactions are highly repetitive , After some experience, it won't be too difficult .” Cordoba said ,“ Although this type of work is Stripe Brought billions of dollars in payment processing revenue , But this is actually no longer the scope of business development , It's more like selling . therefore , Leave this work to a team with expertise and ability to complete repeated transactions , It's very reasonable .”

But this will bring some challenges to the business development team , Leaders of start-ups may also be dissatisfied .“ You will see that all other functional departments are developing very rapidly , And your team seems to be getting worse . As a team leader , It's easy to just focus on the number of people in the Department 、 Income and recognition .” Cordoba said .

“ Regarding this , You should try to change your mind . such as , You can think like this ,‘ I'm looking for different opportunities , Change the development track of an enterprise with 1000 employees , Instead of continuing to do 30 Those jobs in the early days of the establishment of human scale .’ This concept can force you to expand your thinking , Keep strategic focus .”

You can't hoard power in an organization , Once you get to the point where you think the company is ready to expand , Just let go of these powers , So you can continue to meet the next challenge .

Extended reading :

translator : Junyi

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