Blog Archives

“Founders’ Dilemmas” Course: New-Venture Hiring Cases

In prior posts about my “Founders’ Dilemmas” MBA course, I provided an overview of the course, details about the Introductory case and the cases in the “When to Found” module, and details about four cases in the “Building the Team”

Posted in hiring, MBA course content

Investors (and Managers) as Headhunters: Sources of New-Venture Executives

How much of a role do investors play in helping portfolio companies find executive hires? A year and a half ago, two students of mine conducted a survey of entrepreneurs regarding how much value their VCs were adding to their

Posted in hiring, investors

Hiring Into — and Demoting Into? — Executive Positions

Our recent CompStudy webcast included a chart (originally conceived by Mike DiPierro) that showed a breakdown of founders versus non-founders in each executive position. For instance, in the 240 IT start-ups in this year’s survey, how many have founder-CEOs and

Posted in founder-CEO succession, hiring

Hiring Frustrations: Can Goliath Work in a David-Venture?

In describing their biggest hiring frustrations, founder-CEOs often mention hiring someone out of a big company who was not able to adapt to the challenges of a new venture. One founder-CEO recently described one of his hiring mistakes – a

Posted in hiring

Upside-down VCs, Part 3: Synthesis of Comments

Why do later-stage VC firms have more use for junior hires than do early-stage VC firms? Thank you again to all of the people who contributed comments to my query about junior hires in early-stage versus later-stage firms. As a

Posted in hiring, VC organizations

Upside-down VCs, Part 2: The Costs Versus Benefits of Junior Hires

In my first “Upside-down VCs” post, I asked for input on “upside-down” org structures in VC. Thank you to Jeff Barson and to two anonymous commenters (one of whom provided an excerpt from the “Understand the Math” part of this

Posted in hiring, VC organizations

Upside-down VCs, Part 1: The “First Morning” That Sparked It

“Does it matter how my VC structures his own firm internally? Why should I care whether he’s doing all the work or whether he’s delegating it to junior staff?” When you see the picture below, what’s your first thought? “Org

Posted in hiring, VC organizations

HR 101: Hiring and Scaling Challenges

The chart below shows the percentage of start-ups that had each “C-level” position, categorized by the rounds of financing raised by the company. (This is from the start-up survey conducted in early 2005, which had responses from 263 private IT

Posted in hiring