Can you turn the remote-work scramble into a long-term benefit? Wences Casares runs a fully distributed company at his unicorn bitcoin startup, Xapo. For Wences, remote work is an intentional choice, one that celebrates the creativity and freedom of being released from geographical boundaries – and turns remote work into a striking advantage.
What if your idea is so radical that people have trouble grasping what it is – or even believing it won’t harm them? Every founder believes their product is revolutionary – and the more revolutionary their product, the more reassuring they’ll need to be to get consumers on board. No one knows this better than Wences Casares, the trailblazing entrepreneur credited with bringing crypto to Silicon Valley (and convincing Reid himself). With his unicorn startup Xapo, a Bitcoin wallet, Wences aims to reassure the masses that Bitcoin isn’t as different – or as dangerous – as they may think.
Faced with an impossible challenge? Don’t reinvent the wheel. Find someone who’s already solved the problem – and help those inventors keep inventing. Megan Smith calls that technique “scout and scale.” She did it as United States CTO under President Obama (launching the U.N. Solutions Summit and a tech jobs tour). She did it at Google (acquiring startups to bring famed products to life). She did it as CEO of PlanetOut. And she continues today with her new company shift7. Cameo appearance: Monique Sternin (adjunct professor at Tufts University).
Your first hires are your cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first FIVE HUNDRED employees at Workday. He knows how to map back from the culture he wants, to employee attributes to interview questions. Today, with 8000+ employees and $2b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work.
Can’t find the star employees you need? Then make them. That’s what Marissa Mayer did when she founded the Associate Product Manager program at Google — one of the company’s crown jewels. She mentored a team of young, hungry, talented employees in the ways of Google, and they helped drive its success. She followed that same mindset when she became Yahoo CEO, a role she reflects on in the show.