UpKeep Attends Y Combinator Growth Program Day 1

Yesterday was the very first day of Y Combinator Growth Program for UpKeep!

The YC Growth program is a 10-week dinner series, designed for founders of post-series A startups and for companies with between 50 – 150 employees that are scaling rapidly.

I had the opportunity to learn from 3 CEOs that had gone through the company building process from 1 to 1000 employees and beyond where we talked about culture, hiring, and how to become an effective leader and manager.

My 3 Biggest Takeaways From Last Night:

  1. Set company cultural values early on

    1. Use company values as a guidepost for decision making and hold true to them
    2. However, values are only real when they are faced with opposition with two good ideas or two bad ideas
    3. For example, one of our goals is commitment to our customer and often times this is at opposition with another goal of revenue. At UpKeep, we use this value and choose to sacrifice revenue in order to do what is best for our customer.
    4. Another mission is for us at UpKeep is dedication to learning. We invest and hire folks we believe to have an uncanny ability to learn and be resourceful. This is often opposed to hiring for prior experience who may be able to ramp faster earlier on.
  2. Manage through goals and outcomes

    1. To be an effective leader and mentor, you can’t micro-manage
    2. Set measurable goals and ensure they are the right ones for 12 months
    3. Enable and hire team members to take ownership and responsibility
    4. Hold people accountable to goals and outcomes and trust they will get their work done
  3. When interviewing potential candidates, have a clear idea of what a bad, good, and great answer would be

    1. For example one question might be…. tell me about a time where you were faced with a problem. What did you do and how did you go about solving it?
    2. Bad answer: I found this problem and brought it up to my manager
    3. Good answer: Found a problem, found a solution, and worked with my manager to implement it
    4. Great answer: Found a problem, found a solution, and taught the rest of the team to prevent it from happening again

P.S. We’re hiring!!!

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