Handling Layoffs in Startups

Many years ago, one of the startups which I co-founded ran out of money, and with the remaining resources we have, I was forced to lay off the remaining employees of the company which they do not deserved to be made redundant. That experience has traumatized me and from time to time, I reflected about the incident. It helped me to frame my thinking around hiring and how to advise people in similar situations. Here’s a framework which hope that it might be of help to those who may have no choice dealing with such difficult situations.

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How Great Founders have convinced me within 15 minutes

The_barren_zen_garden_in_Tenryuji_#Kyoto_#Japan_at_Tenryū-jiSometime last year during a date night with my wife, I told her that I can decide within the first 15 minutes of my conversation with a founder whether I want to invest in a company or idea. We took a list of those which I have recorded in my own spreadsheet and told her private that I would invest if I have the money and discovered that it was fairly accurate. In fact, the best investments out of my portfolio are done within 15 minutes and the rest which I took time to deliberate and ponder usually never panned out. It’s not based on some emotion or feeling. It also worked for me on startups which I don’t partake in but will have done it if I have the cash. Continue reading How Great Founders have convinced me within 15 minutes

The Shokunin Way

The_autumn_leaves_covering_the_red_gate_outside_Tenryu-ji_Temple_#Kyoto_#Japan_at_Tenryū-ji Every year, my wife and I spent a week in Japan where we spent our time looking at product design, and understanding how the interfaces on different products there work. Watching documentaries such as “Jiro dreams of Sushi” and “The Kingdom of Madness and Dreams” provided me inspiration on why everything I do should have the attitude of Japanese craftsman, called the Shokunin way. Learning from my past failures while learning the skills for the next journey, I have adapted the Shokunin thinking into product and general management. Continue reading The Shokunin Way