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How to Build Great Teams from the CEOs of Airbnb & Pinterest

December 26, 20140 Comments

Stanford’s How to Start a Start-up course by Sam Altman is built around guest lectures / discussions by the folks who have done it themselves. Recently, the course focused on how build great culture – perhaps the most important ingredient of successful businesses – and brought in Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann. Here are seven of their points distilled by Gregory Ferenstein (with link to full article at the bottom).

1. “Don’t f*ck up the culture.”

2. “Companies around for a really long time had a clear mission. A clear sense of values, and they had a shared way of doing something that was unique to them and was really special”

3. “Every single person is meant to hire a person better than the previous people. You are constantly raising the bar.”

4. “I always made it a habit of mine to talk to people I knew de facto were world-class and just ask them: What are the traits you look for?”

5. “I looked for people who were creative, super curious — which meant they had all these interests…. We really want someone who wants to build something great. And they aren’t arrogant about it. They want to take a risk and build something bigger than themselves.”

6. “I just wouldn’t discount how important it is to get to know the person as a person. What are their aspirations? What’s their working style? How do they like to be recognized? … Knowing those things, it just demonstrates that you care about them individually, and collectively, what your goals are.”

7. “Conventional base, you only hire people who use your product religiously everyday. … For us, we screen for people who have vision and discovery online.”

Original Article here: Seven Quotes for Building Billion Dollar Teams.

Filed in: Teaching

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