Lemon #60. Old people

Lemon #60. Old

While reading ‘The hard thing about hard things’ from Ben Horowitz, we learned about old executive people:

Your startup is going well and as your business expands you hear the dreaded words from someone on your board: «You need to hire some senior people. Some real ‘been there, done that’ executives to help you get the company to the next level. 

The first question you might ask is «Why do I need senior people at all»?. Won’t they just ruin the culture with their fancy clothes, political ambitions, and need to go home to see their families? Bringing in the right kind of experience at the right time can mean the difference between bankruptcy and glory. 

Why hire a senior person? The short answer is time. From the day you start until your last breath, you will be in a furious race against time. Even the best ideas become terrible ideas after a certain age. How would Facebook go if Zuckerberg started it last week? 

Hiring someone who has already done what you’re trying to do can radically speed up your time to process. But CEO, beware: Hiring senior people into a startup is kind of like an athlete taking performance-enhancing drugs. If all goes well, you will achieve incredible new weights. If all goes wrong, you will start degenerating from the inside out. 

Hiring the first senior people into your company may feel like selling your soul, and if you’re not careful, you may well end up selling the soul of your company. But if you want to make something from nothing, you have to take risks and you have to win your race against time. This means acquiring the very best talent, knowledge, and experience even if it requires dealing with some serious age diversity. 

Ben Horowitz @ The hard thing about hard things.

Jorge Moreno

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