I’ve always been focused on performance. I’m a list person. I love the feeling of crossing things off. It makes me feel productive. Plus, consistent productivity has the wonderful byproduct of accomplishing more. Jeff Haden’s recent article on Linkedin summarizes the value of having a daily to-do list beautifully: You don’t wait to do the work until you get the dream job – you do the work in order to get the dream job.
When interviewing product managers at Google, we ranked candidates on four metrics: technical ability, communication skills, intellect and Googliness. A Googley person embodies the values of the company – a willingness to help others, an upbeat attitude, a passion for the company, and the most important, humility.
In the past week, I asked two heads of engineering to identify the most important characteristic in new hires. Both responded, “humility”. For one startup ascertaining humility is so important, it is the first filter in the interview process.
Disruptive companies reinvent. They don’t copy and execute someone else’s playbook. To be disruptive, a startup’s team must cast aside preconceived notions and assumptions about doing things the “right way” and start inventing new ways.
The more time I spend in venture capital working with startups, the better I understand that there are no templates or stencils or best practices. Each startup team faces a unique market opportunity with distinct market dynamics, sales processes, competitive forces, assets and challenges.
In such circumstances, the best expeditionary force keeps open minds about the way forward. They learn from each other and the market. The first step to learning is accepting we don’t know everything.
“Email is still the most effective way for most small businesses to reach their target markets. But that turns up the pressure to make sure your email marketing program is nurturing customers and not spamming or turning them off.”
Think social media can replace email marketing? Think again.
“The truly Great companies or Great business leaders have shown the ability to recover, regroup and rebuild their success. Should there be a valley or pitfall, the Great ones refocus their efforts and energy on climbing up to new peaks.”
In sports, as well as life, the greatest triumphs happen after great failures.