As an entrepreneur consumed with building a business, sometimes I feel bad because I am not the type of mother who is teaching my children some of the things I learned growing up such as how to cook, garden or sew. Yet, today my 17 year old daughter asked me very seriously if I would help her to start a business.
"The vast majority of companies succeed or die by the quality of the team.”
Over the years, Roizen has seen a lot of young entrepreneurs make the same mistake. They have an idea for a company, they start their own thing, and when it comes time to hire executives, they don’t want to bring on anyone who knows more than them. “They don’t want to be intimidated, so they hire someone who is the same age and knows about the same stuff. You hire people who are familiar to you because you trust them.” This sounds good, but at the same time, you’re missing out on all kinds of expertise because you’re worried about being outgunned or sidelined.
“If you want to be the smartest person in the room, you’re going to build a crummy team.”
“Do you really want a VP of sales who knows less about sales than you? Do you want a CFO who knows less about accounting? No of course not,” she says. “You have to take risks to find the right people and then trust in those relationships. Your job becomes to empower those people and make sure they get along. My goal is always to be the dumbest person in the room because I want to be surrounded by really bright, really amazing people. That’s when exciting, world-changing things get done.”
Excerpt from First Round Review’s “8 Rare Gems from Heidi Roizen on Building a Fulfilling Life and Career”
If spam filters sorted messages the way Silicon Valley sorts people, you’d only get email from your college roommate. And you’d never suspect you were missing a thing.