The extra mile

Credits: Mylene.Savard @Flickr

I always struggle with people that think that great and very unnatural things can be achieved by following old and tested rules, like if everybody could do that simply repeating a playbook. In Europe, we tend to think this way more than in other areas of the world, and ultimately I think the US are the ones that master this better than anybody else. While I write this I am thinking about business and entrepreneurship, but this is true in a lot of other human contexts.

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Lions, founders and large companies

This piece from Paul Graham is just a great read and a beautiful way to start thinking about your career and why you don’t necessarily need to work for a large company. Also, a great read for founders.

I particularly love the reference to building confidence for founders, it all starts there when you decide to build something 🙂

All the difference in the world

  1. I am reading “Dear Founder“, a great collection of letters for founders by Maynard Webb, a famous investor and board member who spent years working with the best companies and founders in Silicon Valley. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of years ago at Vertex Ventures.
  2. A friend of mine just posted this on Facebook. There is no better way to express it. I copied it here.
  3. A few weeks ago a young entrepreneur asked me “Who should I hire in my company in the early days?

All of them are connected to one crucial thing I learned the hard way. Continue reading

Chaos Monkey

I am close to the end of Chaos Monkey. If you want to understand more about Silicon Valley and how venture-backed startups work, this is the perfect introduction. Do not expect something unbiased: like every entrepreneur, Antonio went through several critical moments and tries to describe rules and problems that are common in the Bay Area for early stage startups that go through fund raising and acquisitions.

I particularly appreciated the insights on the early days of Facebook.

 

How to find out in an interview if someone is a giver or a taker

A Founder's Notebook

Edited excerpt from 1 Interview Question That Cuts Through the BS to Reveal Someone’s True Character by Betsy Mikel:

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant says that the more often people help each other, the better the organization does. To create a culture of helping, you need to hire the givers, not the takers. However, just because someone is agreeable doesn’t mean they’re a giver — there are plenty of agreeable takers and disagreeable givers in this world. To find out whether someone is a giver or taker, irrespective of how agreeable they are, ask:

Can you give me the names of four people whose careers you have fundamentally improved?

The takers will give you the names of four people who have more influence than they do. They care more about influence than they do about helping. The givers will give you the names of four people you’ve likely never heard of, who are equal…

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