Oct 5, 2004

HIRING. Good news! One of my companies is hirin…


Good news! One of my companies is hiring. Experienced software developers are the company’s #1 priority, but program managers and product managers are critical as well. The company is an early stage, well-funded Seattle startup. If you’re interested (or know someone who is), please email me a brief summary of qualifications and your resume.

We’ve been in Palo Alto for a little over a month now. The thing I miss most about Seattle is not the place itself, but the bonding experience taking place in the founding team of my new startup. The early growing pains. The resume reviews. The day to day product discussions. The customer interaction. The search for office space. All the little things that give a startup and its people a unique identity.

As the founder, it’s an amazing experience to see a team turn an idea and plan into a reality. I heard the magic words just yesterday. “We may make our first job offer as early as Friday.” That means that there will be people to implement the plan, to execute, and to deliver on the company’s strategy. Seems like a simple thing to do, but so much goes into being able to make that first offer. Investors. A founding team. Infrastructure. Hiring the second person always seems easy once you’ve hired the first.

To give you a sense of how important I consider hiring to be, I recommended that the team spend 2/3 of its time until it hires its first two employees (one engineer, one program manager) working on recruiting. That’s right. The rest is on the product. Because if you don’t spend time early on doing recruiting, then:

1) People you hire won’t be as bought in as they could be – because they won’t have been part of the early product specification process and

2) It takes a long time to hire good people; if you wait until you have everything nailed down, then you risk a two or three month delay while you then go hire people to do the work.

I also told the team that next to hiring, the most important thing to do is to ship early and often. That is, get a product defined (even if it’s not perfect for customers), get that out to customers as quickly as you can, get their feedback, and then go back and rev the product. The sooner you get product to customers, the sooner they can give you feedback. The sooner you hire people, the sooner you can deliver product.

It has been proven time and time again that an entity that grows a technical team and delivers a product has a much greater market value than the sum of its parts. Accomplish that, and you have an asset that will be purchased by the markets, whether public or private. Sell the developed product to customers and your value can only go up.


  • Hello Dave,

    As a prospective Stanford GSB applicant, I greatly enjoy reading your blog. I have a strong interest in Stanford GSB because of its reputation for investing in people, and focus on entrepreneurship.

    I understand that you have a busy schedule, but I was wondering if you can email me a brief background of yourself and why you chose Stanford. I appreciate any time you can afford. My email is thinksoap@yahoo.com

    Best Regards

  • I was curious to know if the company you were refering to is http://www.sourcelabs.com/index.htm ?

Leave a comment