Blog

  • When and How to Make Your First Product Hire

    I get one question from founders all the time: When is it time to make my first product hire? Normally a startup founder is a visionary who is deeply involved in the product experience. She is the person closest to the problem the startup is trying to solve and intimately familiar with what needs to be built. But eventually, that’s too much for one person to manage alone. I joined Airbnb as the first product manager (PM) when the company was 35 employees. The eighth engineer joined the same…

  • How Hiring Entrepreneurs Enabled Airbnb’s Success (and Launched a New Generation of Founders)

    When I left Airbnb last year, I was delighted to join a group as dynamic as the company itself: the Airbnb alumni. And I’ve been intrigued, though not surprised, to learn how many of those bright and creative professionals are developing their own startup concepts. After all, our time at the company trained us to do just that. Employees of one great company seeding the next generation of startups is the circle of life in Silicon Valley. It started with Fairchild Semiconductor in the 1960s,…

    • June 21, 2018

    The First Interview

    In working closely with first time founders, I often hear their feedback regarding first interviews—specifically, frustration about not being able to extract the information they want from a candidate. Despite having received the background overview from the recruiter presenting the candidate, founders may be unclear of how good the candidate would actually be for their company. Since it’s impossible to learn everything about a person in one conversation, it’s imperative to use the time…