HR Issues In a Startup :Team, Talent, Make/Buy/Rent, and More….


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HR Issues In a Startup : Team, Talent, Make/Buy/Rent, and More…. Robert Siegel Lecturer, Stanford GSB; General Partner, XSeed Capital @robsiegel Stanford Graduate School of Business February 27, 2014


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Agenda The Executive Team Technical Talent Compensation Philosophies Best Practices


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Robert Siegel


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Agenda The Executive Team Technical Talent Compensation Philosophies Best Practices


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Executive Staff Your ability to scale is directly related to the capability of your direct reports - Hard to get stars if you are unproven Think athletic team Vice Presidents - Marketing - Sales - Engineering/CTO - Product


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Outlier Leaders Executives who come later Game changers Fixers Smaller pieces, bigger pies


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Agenda The Executive Team Technical Talent Compensation Philosophies Best Practices


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Managing the Technical Function Make or buy or rent Can you judge the deliverables? Throwing away the MVP Finding a technical co-founder - And if you’ve never worked together before…


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Truisms All that matters is if the product works and is on time Hire people who have delivered and shipped product before Development includes customers, product/market fit, QA, scalability


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Agenda The Executive Team Technical Talent Compensation Philosophies Best Practices


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Paying Your Team Pay what is fair (cash and stock) Don’t overpay and don’t underpay Assume comp is an open book There are best practices – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel


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New Hires – Seed Stage Non-founding CEO – 4.0% to 8.0% VPs – 1.5% to 3.0% Directors – 0.5% to 1% Managers – 0.2% to 0.4% All others – < 0.2%


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New Hires – Series A Non-founding CEO – 4.0% to 6.0% VPs – 1.0% to 2.0% Directors – 0.4% to 0.8% Managers – 0.1% to 0.3% All others – < 0.1%


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New Hires – Series B Non-founding CEO – 3.0% to 5.0% VPs – 0.75% to 1.3% Directors – 0.3% to 0.6% Managers – 0.1% to 0.2% All others – < 0.1%


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Other Data Sources and Perspectives… Title Range (%) CEO 5 – 10 COO 2 – 5 VP 1 – 2 Independent Board Member 1 Director 0.4 – 1.25 Lead Engineer 0.5 – 1 5+ years experience Engineer 0.33 – 0.66 Manager or Junior Engineer 0.2 – 0.33


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How to Divvy Up the Pie… Classic startup – founders Not all equal Experience, background, skillsets Mix of title and position is less of an issue with a founding group Aforementioned variables more important It’s all about “t-comp”


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Holistic POV Investors Employee pool It needs to be refreshed after each round if you take venture money You will be diluted; get comfortable with it Founders What’s left over… You will be diluted; get comfortable with it


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Other Special Attributes of Executives Early exercise Tax benefits Vesting schedules Accelerated vesting up front if a founder Acceleration on acquisition (double trigger)


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Agenda The Executive Team Technical Talent Compensation Philosophies Best Practices


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Best Practices Startups are not democracies HR from Day 1: Informal feedback 360 degree reviews Scott Brady methods


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Other Random Insights Your team is a reflection of you Saloner’s First Law How the CEO keeps his/her job If there is a problem with the business, figure it out before your Board does


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