I recently wrote an email to one of our startup founders with a collection of hiring lessons learned by me and by some of our other founders.
I have violated each and every one of these maxims at some point, and have regretted it each and every time.
Sharing this in the hopes they’re helpful to you too:
Disclaimer: All of the above are with respect to hiring only and are not exhaustive. These points do not address key practices to implement or mistakes to avoid once you’ve welcomed a new team member aboard, which is a topic unto itself.
 Different people trade off equity for cash or vice versa at different levels, sometimes quite differently from how you do yourself as a founder. Family, health, and life situations can explain this.
 The value of equity is not obvious to many non-founders, and option count will otherwise remain an abstract concept.
 By the time you send the paper offer, you should know they’re going to accept it. Have the difficult conversation on finer points like compensation, location, and responsibilities in person or on the phone. Then send the offer.
 Avoid people who are talented but who have a leaning that is other than what the company actually needs. Especially early on, candidates wishing to take on whatever work it takes to win will be most aligned with the company and will themselves flourish.
 A concern raised during the hiring process usually does not resolve itself, and frequently does not resolve even when an action plan is created to proactively address it. See 1st bullet above.
 Throwing them in the deep end can sometimes work, but do not assume someone is capable of managing just because they’re talented in their individual contributor work.
 This is true at >20 people too, but you are fighting against inertia at that point.
Thanks to Ryan Chan for encouraging me to post this. Post image photographed by James Sutton and only marginally relates to this post, but I needed something about picking people and this is the state of today’s image search algorithms.
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