Now enjoying my status as a sage of the industry, which is to say I am older than 20, but alas, not a billionaire, God fuck-it; people are all the time asking me for nuggets of wisdom from my vast experience at the top.
Quickies from marcf #4: More on hiring talent.
K.D asks: "Marc, my company is growing and I need to hire people across the organization, how do I go about recruiting the right talent".
Answer: "K.D. hiring the right people into your organization is important. Don't start hiring too early or you will lose money on a cash flow basis and you won't be able to sustain growth without more VC money and dilution. Don't hire too late, you will lose out on your opportunity. Employ pay-as-go if you have the luxury.
But most important: HIRE "A" PLAYERS and tap their network. In the classic dictum of the industry: "A players attract A players, B players attract C players".
At JBoss we had 3 cultures interwoven:
1- an historical JBoss core, the original OSS project developers. This group started growing by recruiting more outside projects (Gavin with Hibernate, Remy with Tomcat, Bela with JGroups etc).
2- Bob Bickel's gang. Bob was the business development head behind the growth of JBoss inc. He joined us prior to VC funding, was instrumental in getting VC funding and brought with him a lot of experienced business talent from the Bluestone days (Joe McGonnell, Shaun Connelly in marketing, Tom Leonard in sales)
3- David Skok's influence. David was our lead VC from Matrix partners. He helped bringing on operational talent (Rob Bearden, COO, Brad Murdoch, VP support, Cary Smith CFO) that really grew the company. These people are usually difficult to afford and attract unless you have VC backing.
Don't kid yourself that you are going to get a superstar for 80 cents on the dollar. I see so many young entrepreneurs, and established companies, being a penny wise and a pound foolish when it comes to paying talent. Not every position needs superstars, but the influence of a few key, experienced individuals can be dramatic, across organizational groups.
You get an added bonus, which is that inexperienced employees with high potential, paired with the right mentors will quickly bloom. Many people from JBoss when they tell me about their experience, mention the opportunity to work with industry veterans and how much they have learned.