Lecture 2 – Team and Execution (Sam Altman)

3. Team

Co-founder relationship is very important.
In early stages:

  1. Co-founders
  2. Try not to hire
  3. Get the best people
  4. You’ve hired the best- now keep them around
  5. Fire fast

Questions to answer when trying hire.

  1. Are they smart?
  2. Do they get things done?
  3. Do I want to spend a lot of time around them?
  4. Work on a project with them for a day or two
  5. Call References
  6. Good communication skills
  7. Risk-taking attitude
  8. Would you feel comfortable reporting to them

 

Three things that motivate employees to do good work:

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose

 

4. Execution

You need to become an execution machine, a role model for your employees.

The CEO has five jobs:

  • Set the vision
  • Raise money
  • Evangelize
  • Hire and manage
  • Make sure the entire company executes

Two key questions of execution:

Can you figure out what to do?

Can you get it done?

FOCUS – Say NO a lot. Set overarching goals. Repeat them. Communicate.
Maintain growth and momentum. Work together in person.
– What are you spending time and money on? You don’t get points for trying.
– What are two or three most important things every day?

INTENSITY – you need to be willing to outwork your competitors
Quick, Do whatever it takes, Show up, Don’t give up, Be courageous.
– Relentless operating rhythm
– Obsession with Execution Quality
– Bias towards action

Every time WE TALK TO GOOD FOUNDERS, THEY HAVE GOTTEN NEW THINGS DONE

Always keep momentum, always keep growing, always keep winning, Sales fix everything.

Set an operating Rhythm
– Shipping Product
– Launching new features
– Reviewing/reporting metrics and milestones