My biggest struggle as a CEO at Stocktwits was recruiting. I did not spend enough time on this part of my job and it slowed us down. At startups you hear about technical debt and obviously financial debt, but a lot of the problems stem from recruitment debt. If you don’t have the right people, the technical, product and design debt debt piles up.
Running a software/technology/community company in this era is not just about a great idea and raising capital. You need great engineers, designers, product people and sales people and you need to do it fast and in a really competitive environment.
There are many great CEO’s in our portfolios over the years that have made recruiting great people their focus and the results speak for themselves.
One veteran is Mike Katz the founder and CEO of mParticle.
I had Michael Katz on my ‘Panic Podcast’ back in April to talk about his company mParticle. In our podcast Michael explains that mParticle helps companies use data to build the best customer experiences.
Last week mParticle hired Twilio’s (NASDAQ: TWLO) former Chief Product Officer Chee Chew. This is a transformative hire for the startup, who works with some of the largest brands in the world such as McDonalds, Airbnb, Spotify, Klarna, NBC Universal and hundreds more to help unlock the value of their customer data and improve customer experience. Chee’s experience is quite impressive, prior to joining mParticle:
Chee was the CPO at Twilio for the past 2 years where he oversaw all products there, and executed the Segment acquisition for $3.2B.
Before that, he spent 4 years at Amazon where he built the internal CDP and oversaw all personalization and ML efforts on Amazon.com.
Before that, he spent almost 8 years at Google where he invented Google Hangouts.
He started his career at Microsoft where he spent 14 years there leading a number of initiatives from Windows Live & XBOX Live and several others.
Next week I will have Michael and Chee on my show to talk about the recruitment process and building a fast growing company.