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Building the right team for a billion-dollar startup

From building out Facebook’s first office in Austin to putting together most of Quora’s team, Bain Capital Ventures managing director Sarah Smith has done a bit of everything when it comes to hiring. At TechCrunch Early Stage, she spoke about how to ensure the critical early hires are the right ones to grow a business. As an investor at Bain Capital Ventures, Smith has a broad view into the problems that companies face as they search for the right candidate to spur organizational success.

In our conversation, Smith touched on a number of issues such as who to hire and when, when to fire, and how to ensure diversity from the earliest days.


What to consider when you first think about hiring

When a company is making its first hires — and then evolving into a bigger organization — the processes and needs may change, but the culture should be consistent from the beginning, according to Smith. From there, an emphasis on good early managers is critical.

I would really encourage you to take some time to think about what kind of company you want to make first before you go out and start interviewing people. So that really is going to be about understanding and defining your culture. And then the second thing I’d be thinking about when you’re scaling from, you know, five people up to, you know, 50 and beyond is that managers really are the key to your success as a company. It’s hard to overstate how important managers, great managers, are to the success of your company.

So we’ll talk a little bit about how to think about that, as there’s a lot of questions around helping people grow into management for the first time. You, as a founder, might be managing people for the first time, so how to think about setting up the company for success.

(Timestamp: 4:15)


How do you build culture in the new remote environment?