This is a collection of notes I took over the years while running my company. I’m sharing them here to help other founders avoid the same mistakes I made.
I highly recommend the 📙 High Growth Handbook by Elad Gil
Suhail wrote down some good thoughts on what to focus on in the first 18 months of a startup.
See Go To Market
Focus means saying no to a thousand good ideas (Steve Jobs)
Be careful with team@ - constant battle for the right level of messages.
Avoid anonymous Q&A or AmA. It gives a megaphone to people who just want to stirr the pot and allows them to spread negativity. Instead, create a culture of open communication and feedback, no retaliation, and encourage team members to speak up when they see something wrong or know how to do it better.
#wins channel where deals, releases, press articles and other wins are posted. Encourage everyone to post.
#kudos channel where people can give each other kudos.
Avoid acronyms! Cognitive overhead and hard to decipher for newbies, ambiguous
The 5 whys is a tool for finding the root cause of a problem quickly by simply continuing to ask why something happened until you find the root cause. It originated at Toyota.
So to solve this problem, let’s look at alternative, simpler designs before starting to build.
Make provisional decision fast based on information available. Then define what new information would disprove it (Reid Hoffman)
You can’t steer anything until it moves.
📖 Jeff Bezos on Decision Making
Manage orgs by budget, not headcount. Your functional leaders know better how to allocate resources within their team than you do. Your job is to set the right goals and the budget. They will figure out the best way to achieve those goals within the budget.
Good questions to ask in a direct or skip-level 1:1:
Remember the purpose of the meeting may be more for your reports then for you. While you have context on what every executive is doing, the other executives will not otherwise have clarity into their peers’ organizations. The weekly staff meetings are meant to create a forum for knowledge sharing and issue raising, relationship building, collaboration, and strategy.
Start meetings with a trip report or other personal things to foster relationships between every team member. This may feel like a waste of time when there are so many tasks to get to, but it is a good investment that will pay back in the form of a more collaborative and supportive team.
Good to great.
Simple plan - hedgehog
Change is your default. Change it unless it is crystal clear that the old way is substantially better. Execution involves change. Embrace it.
📖 Many Strategies Fail Because They’re Not Actually Strategies
📖 The Five Questions Of Strategy
📙 Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action