5 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2020
    1. All startups say they’re ambitious. You better be if you take venture funding!

      Stripe’s insight was that tackling ambitious problems doesn’t just make the potential prize bigger. Ambitious efforts are often more feasible than smaller ones, because the strongest people want to work on the most ambitious efforts. In our experience this positive talent effect was stronger than the negative effect of problem difficulty. So, paradoxically, tackling a bigger problem could be both more rewarding for the company and in a sense more tractable.

      This probably needs to be qualified. Stripe is set up so that we’re successful when our customers are successful (in real, economic terms). Ambitious problems for Stripe look like enabling more internet businesses and supporting entrepreneurs in more countries, not getting more ad clicks. The talent effect of ambition certainly applies to Stripe-style problems, but I’m not sure if it’d work for something like ads.

      Again all startups say “our team is our most important asset”; leaders say “the hardest part of my job is hiring good people”. But what most companies actually do day-to-day on recruiting is disastrous: generic job ads, clueless outside recruiters, screening on brand name, candidate-hostile interview processes, slow response times, etc. The poor recruiting results of most companies reflect the work they put in.

      Stripe was different in two respects: effort and thoughtfulness.

      In terms of effort, Stripe’s recruiting was absolutely relentless. On the front of the pipeline this meant investing in potential candidates that wouldn’t apply for years, through genuine 1:1 relationships as well as many small events that introduce Stripe and its team. Once candidates were active, Stripe tried to move very quickly. Ideally we'd turn around recruiting steps on the same day: respond to the candidates inbound email the same day, and even decide on and give them an offer on the same day as their interviews. We could close candidates before Google replied to their initial emails.

      Stripe was also thoughtful in recruiting processes. This signaled to candidates that the company was clueful and understood the candidate’s perspective. One example is Stripe’s capture the flag program, which not only put Stripe on the radar of a lot of candidates, but also gave them a sense of the strength of the engineering team. Another example was Stripe’s guidance on what to expect for interviews. We’d send candidates a PDF describing exactly how their interviews would be conducted, how they’d be evaluated, and how to prepare. These certainly helped candidates present their best work in the interviews. But they also showed that Stripe actually cares about this, which candidates knew from experience many other companies did not.

  2. Oct 2018
  3. Jun 2016
    1. The fact that we joke about it documents an acceptance of a culture of abuse online. It helps normalize online harassment campaigns and treat the empowerment of abusers as inevitable, rather than solvable.
  4. Oct 2014
    1. “We should be building platforms to amplify the voices of women in tech, not to cater to the egos of men,” she said. “Men who want to help need to get the hell out of our way, basically. Because we're coming. And we don't need their support.”

      I think this is an immature stance that I cannot support. When you want to be treated with respect by most of the people around you it helps to demand mutual aid and cooperation from 50% of that population rather than telling them to fuck off.