The holy grail of company building is finding product-market fit. But what most people don’t tell you is that once you’ve found it, product-market fit brings its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to scaling rapidly and hiring the right executives at the right time.
Drawing from their extensive experiences, a16z cofounder Ben Horowitz and Databricks cofounder and CEO Ali Ghodsi sit down to talk about the hardest things about executive hiring and firing, and what is at stake.
They dive into the common reasons an exec fails, why sometimes micromanagement is a good idea, and the difference between someone who has written a playbook and someone who has only run one.
00:00 – When is it time to let someone go?
05:41 – When do you give someone a chance to grow into the role?
07:05- Let go or level?
09:27 – How do you have the tough conversation?
16:39 – Exit packages
18:40 – Setting a new leader up for success
24:27 – The importance of the first quick win
26:24 – The impact a new leader has on culture
32:52 – Common ways new leaders fail
37:35 – Closing thoughts
Ben Horowitz is a Cofounder and General Partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Ali Ghodsi is a cofounder and CEO of Databricks, the AI infrastructure for the enterprise.
The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.