On the outside looking in, its extremely frustrating to hear of product teams shipping product multiple times a day.
I tend to often question: “What in devil’s name am I doing wrong”?
- Is it that I have not defined the product requirements right?
- Have we hired the wrong people? Does our team not have enough experience?
- Is our culture not supportive of mistakes?
- Are we not focusing on the right things?
- Do we not have the capability to get stuff done quickly?
Experience with multiple startups has taught me that its ignorant to compare your company with others (who might have stated at the same time) who have more “visible progress” than yours does.
But I hate that experience.
Its hard not to compare and question why is someone else doing so well with a smaller team than you have.
Experience has also taught me that startups for most parts (like kids) have a step function in progress. Its rarely a smooth “up and to the right”.
I hate that experience as well.
Should all that experience not make the next go around a lot smoother?
So the question – “What the value of all that experience”?
There’s only one answer – Its overvalued.
There’s one solution to most of these questions and although it is a cliche and often repeated, the answer is “Hire right” – whether its consultants or contractors or full-time employees, you need to constantly evaluate and hire the right people.
So, how do you hire right? And how do you define “right”?
So lets start with not the job description, but with your culture and values. Hire the right person that fits your culture and can align with your values.
If you culture is defined by moving fast, hire and attract people that can do that.
How do you determine if someone “fits” your culture if all you can do is interview them for 1 hour or so?
Write down questions to situations where you feel your culture will make them act one way versus the other. Ask those questions during the interview.
Depending on the answer to those questions you can determine if they can align.
What I have learned is people rarely change. So its hopeless to expect someone who is not a good cultural fit, to come in and get “religion”.