怎样做招聘和管理?(Startup Playbook from Sam Altman IV.4)


(创业由四个部分组成,理念、团队、产品、执行力。Startup Playbook 是YC掌门人Sam Altman对这四个方面的完整阐述,这是执行力当中关于招聘和管理的部分)

Hiring is one of your most important jobs and the key to building a great company (as opposed to a great product.)
My first piece of advice about hiring is don’t do it. The most successful companies we’ve worked with at YC have waited a relatively long time to start hiring employees. Employees are expensive. Employees add organizational complexity and communication overhead.


There are things you can say to your cofounders that you cannot say with employees in the room. Employees also add inertia—it gets exponentially harder to change direction with more people on the team. Resist the urge to derive your self-worth from your number of employees.


The best people have a lot of opportunities. They want to join rocketships. If you have nothing, it’s hard to hire them. Once you’re obviously winning, they’ll want to come join you.


It’s worth repeating that great people have a lot of options, and you need great people to build a great company. Be generous with equity, trust, and responsibility. Be willing to go after people you don’t think you’ll be able to get. Remember that the kind of people you want to hire can start their own companies if they want.


When you are in recruiting mode (i.e., from when you get product-market fit to T-infinity), you should spend about 25% of your time on it. At least one founder, usually the CEO, needs to get great at recruiting. It’s most CEOs’ number one activity by time. Everyone says that CEOs should spend a lot of their time recruiting, but in practice, none but the best do. There’s probably something to that.


Don’t compromise on the quality of people you hire. Everyone knows this, and yet everyone compromises on this at some point during a desperate need. Everyone goes on to regret it, and it sometimes almost kills the company.


Good and bad people are both infectious, and if you start with mediocre people, the average does not usually trend up. Companies that start off with mediocre early employees almost never recover. Trust your gut on people. If you have doubt, then the answer is no.


Do not hire chronically negative people. They do not fit what an early-stage startup needs—the rest of the world will be predicting your demise every day, and the company needs to be united internally in its belief to the contrary.


Value aptitude over experience for almost all roles. Look for raw intelligence and a track record of getting things done. Look for people you like—you’ll be spending a lot of time together and often in tense situations. For people you don’t already know, try to work on a project together before they join full-time.


Invest in becoming a good manager. This is hard for most founders, and it’s definitely counterintuitive. But it’s important to get good at this. Find mentors that can help you here. If you do not get good at this, you will lose employees quickly, and if you don’t retain employees, you can be the best recruiter in the world and it still won’t matter.


Most of the principles on being a good manager are well-covered, but the one that I never see discussed is “don’t go into hero mode”. Most first-time managers fall victim to this at some point and try to do everything themselves, and become unavailable to their staff. It usually ends in a meltdown. Resist all temptation to switch into this mode, and be willing to be late on projects to have a well-functioning team.


Speaking of managing, try hard to have everyone in the same office. For some reason, startups always compromise on this. But nearly all of the most successful startups started off all together. I think remote work can work well for larger companies but it has not been a recipe for massive success for startups.


Finally, fire quickly. Everyone knows this in principle and no one does it. But I feel I should say it anyway. Also, fire people who are toxic to the culture no matter how good they are at what they do. Culture is defined by who you hire, fire, and promote.



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