Why you should (not) join Xendit

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We’re always on the recruiting bandwagon and I’m a big believer people should know what they’re getting themselves into before they jump on the bandwagon. Taking a page from a previous professor’s book, if we bare all and they still want to join, then they’re likely going to be the best. His was more perverse – he discouraged everyone to become an entrepreneur – I suspect the ones who still do just might have enough intrinsic motivation to make it.

There’s lot of great reasons to join us. We’re growing fast, we are a team of underdogs and it’s us against the world. You will accomplish more here than likely anywhere else and you can take on as much responsibility as you can handle. This part goes on and on and if you pass our case interviews you’ll see the sell.

I want to focus on why you shouldn’t. I say these in all our interviews but it’s easy enough to post here too.

1. We’re direct

For Indonesians, we’re direct.  For Americans we’re indirect.  One of our cultural phenomenon is that we’re super tight.  We live, work, play and eat together so it’s a little like family.  This tightness is actually very different from other startups and a great benefit for the way we work.  It does mean we’re very open and less willing to take shit or ignore shortcomings from people.  We also move too fast to beat around the bush.  This means we’re very direct: with instructions, feedback, comments, written words.  So if easily offended, try something else.  If American, then we’re super nice :)

2. We work harder than anyone else we know

Like actually.  We work nights, weekends and whatever we need to to get the job done.  We’re results and customer driven.  If our customer needs something and you’re on holiday – you still get to reply.  If it’s 10pm on Sunday, you get to reply.  We know we’re not as well pedigreed as other companies, not as Indonesian as Indonesians and not as Silicon Valley as Silicon Valley.  This is the one input we do control and so we work it hard.  Not Chinese Chinese/Japan/Korean hard, but Chinese American hard.

3. Trust is super important

We rely heavily on trust.  When you come in, we trust immediately.  We’ll be super optimistic else we wouldn’t have hired you. We’ll give you the keys to the safe, we’ll pile your plate up till you say “I can’t handle it” or you perform poorly.  You’ll get as much responsibility as you want as long as you’re performing.  This is super cool for most because you’ll do more interesting stuff than most people your age, (this includes the girl who was 7 years in PE before us).

However, the flipside of this trust equation is that once it’s lost, it’s really hard to gain back.  In fact, most people who reach this point end up leaving.  It’s just too hard to perform well over a period of time to impress us and get back on the horse.  This means we’re not a 3 strikes out kind of place.  We’re a perform your best all the time kind of place.

Accidentally ending up with a Mustang

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A weird decision

When I arrived at the rental car service, they asked me if I wanted something fun or something fuel efficient.  For some subpar reason (jet lag, temporarily low ego and a wanderlust for something cool), I opted for the “fun”.
Rarely, do I ever make such uncalculated decisions, so much so when skipping my wife she didn’t believe me, her mum or brother that I had rented a 2017 Mustang.  It took her brother going outside with a camera to make her believe*.
Her first question “Do you feel like a tool driving that car?”

3 things I’ve noticed since being in a Mustang

  1. People give way when they don’t need to
    This may be confirmation bias but I was in several situations where someone else had equal or slightly more right of way, but they let me go.  First, I was in a carpark where I was merging onto the main thoroughfare.  I stopped to let a driver pass by on the main road.  He instead stopped and signaled for me to go.  An hour later I was in the carpark of Best Buy, I had a stop sign and a lady on my right had none.  I stopped.  She stopped and signalled for me to go.  I signalled for her to go.  She insisted I went.  Finally, some lady was being a bit retarded and I beeped her preemptively to avoid the rental getting touched.  She said sorry, which is the first time anyone has said sorry.This could be attributed to coincidence but reflects a different experiment where people gave in to richer cars like BMWs when they didn’t have to.  Also, fun fact BMW drivers are jerks.  Incidentally, I’m not purposely less willing to give way to a BMW because of this research.
  2. I don’t appreciate it
    I’m not a car geek.  I consciously made a decision not to be.  About 13, I was choosing between cars and computers.  Most of my friends went to cars but I went to computers.  1) cheaper depreciation activity  2) I could actually make money and so I made a bunch of computers for my friends and maintained others as my first side income.So I’ve noticed I don’t know how to “feel” the horsepower from behind the wheel.  I wouldn’t know what constitutes a ‘good ride’ so I can’t fully appreciate whatever awesomeness I’m meant to be feeling.
  3. I’m more stressed using it
    When I was a kid, my mother never let me run near glass without a good chiding or yelling.  I think that data point represents an innate fear instilled – I have an irrational fear being around rich things.  It turns out this extends to the car.I drive even more like a grandma around it, am way more cautious and generally scared of it getting touched.  Such luck as I’ve never had a car roadside issue and today I have a flat tire from a screw on the side of the road.

*As more context, all the other vehicles I’ve owned.  TL;DR – a bunch of otherwise very average rides because I’m cheap.
  • Hyundai Excel 1991 (Manual) – roof leaked water, no zircon and everything was cracked or worse for wear.  When I tried to sell it, I didn’t get one bite and the shop wanted me to PAY to take it away.  I ended up giving it to a friend of mine
  • Suzuki GSX-250F Across – motorbike that was way to heavy for my small frame and wiggled violently in the wind.  Otherwise a lovely ride
  • Acura TL 2001 – my first ‘luxury’ car with automatic windows, air conditioning and a working radio.  Bought it for $3,500 from the original owners and that car so plenty of action.  The radio even worked.

Neophyte leadership

As our team as quadripled this year, my role is starting to change. I’m starting to replace “doing” with reviewing and managing. Given the YC mantra to focus on building a great product I feel angst when not directly working on product. I’m on a bullet train in between two South East Asian cities. It’s a rare moment to reflect on what has been thus far in a growing leadership role.

1. 1 on 1s are powerful

BCG taught me to institute process. I am naturally averse to adding process but I’ve found that honest 1 on 1s allow me to manage my people better than any other technique. It allows me to truly hear their dreams, issues and what I can do make it better.

More good suggestions have come from here than any other forum. For example, our current set of publicised metrics are the result of someone’s feedback. Feedback has also helped warned about someone’s unhappiness which allowed me to prevent churn. As we continue to grow, 1 on 1s remain my favourite process activity.

2. Coaching as a method

I’m a wartime CEO. I thrive under pressure, when things hit the fan and I love making calls when things are crazy. However, wartimes require fast decisions from the top executed well – which is a poor method for developing your team for initiative.

I took some coaching classes at Berkeley and underwant some professional coaching myself. I’m now convinced that for me, the 1 on 1 style of gaining rapport, leading by example and coaching through feedback in the first 30 days yields the best results.

3. Hire for long term, fire fast

The hires that have been the best are closely correlated to the ones which we interviewed and closed within a week. The worst performers are the ones we’ve made when we’ve been desperate and an applicant has just been below standard. “He is good but…”

I’m now convinced that even when we’re desperate we have to be patient for the right person. Chemistry has to click straight away. For us that means intelligence, work ethic and ownership mentality. Cultural chemistry normally means an underdog with the humility to learn and the willingness to work harder than all their friends.

4. I have become more impatient

I’ve noticed that my willingness and ability to tolerate bullshit has dropped.  The subconscious frame is that I want to leverage my time well.  If someone comes up with a well thought out problem, proposed solutions with a recommended one based on logic, then time spent with that person has high leverage. I can make an informed decision and trust the assumptions on which it is based.  However, when someone hasn’t done the work to go the extra mile, time spent with them is a wasted hours I’ll never get back.

If someone’s slides don’t meet expectations, they’ll need to humble themselves for review by someone who is good. If people haven’t thought through a problem, then I don’t really have time to think through it for them. I now realise why some of my managers were pissed off – there was a tonne of pressure to perform and people who hadn’t put in the extra mile were more negative than useful for the cost of switching context to talk to them.

It does mean I can recognise performance easily.  It’s easy for me to assess what someone’s strengths and weaknesses are.  In an impatient world, you clearly can see how someone can outperform.  When I ask someone in passing to register a website, they quickly come back with options that I need to care about and then a few days later it’s done and connected to the existing one in the right way. That’s a good leverage on my time.

 

How to onboard your users successfully

(Summary of book “Intercom on Onboarding”)

“We’ve discovered the only proper way to onboard people is to understand where they are, what capabilities they have, where they want to get to, and then use a combination of interface, communication, tooltips, nudges, and messages to ensure they’re never stuck on the path to achieving their outcome. That’s what successful onboarding looks like – unifying a successful business outcome and a successful customer one.”  Des Traynor, Cofounder, Intercom

Start with a story

The first task is to understand your user’s journey to success.  This journey is rich in emotions and stories that will expose what your customers truly care about, what help you can provide and when you can help them.

Likely, you need to talk to those who have just become highly engaged users, e.g. when they’ve started paying or some other equivalent metric for your business.

In executing these interviews, you’ll want to accomplish the following:

  • Understand their motivations and frustrations before they chose you. This gives you a basis for your future marketing content and channels.
  • Understand their definition of “success” with your product. This is the magic moment when they realise your purpose and value
  • Recount the steps from decision to use you until the point of success, e.g. signup to first email campaign created
  • Be specific in your questions to draw out emotions and specific actionable information “Which part was hardest?” vs “Was it easy?”
  • Who else did they need to adopt successfully, e.g. budget holders. You’ll want to be able to empower tech people with data to convince the budget holders.  Or you may need materials to help a business person convince dev teams an integration is easy

Here’s an example email to use to solicit time from your users

Hello [name],

My name is Moses and I’m trying to make our setup process better. I’d love your personal take on it.

Could we schedule a 20-30 min chat in the next couple of days?

Regards,

Moses

Actionable takeaways:

  • Conduct in-depth interviews with all fully integrated users
  • Make credible PDFs to allow folks to fight your case, e.g. tech team to bring to budget holders

Design an onboarding path

Based on your starting points and “success” endpoints, create an onboarding experience that makes sense to a user trying to complete a “job”:

  1. Free trial is your opportunity to sell
  2. Before they’re signed up:
    • Webinars, 1:1s, Docs, How to videos, Best practice blog posts,
    • Get customers to tell their stories of success with Intercom,
  3. After they’re signed up:
    • Build data driven onboarding messaging schedule
    • Trigger updates for pro users who aren’t using all the features
    • Every customer support ticket should have two tags 1) product area and 2) type of convo, e.g. confusion, bug, feature request

 

1. Doing a trial

Successful trial should have people going up to the right.  People that are going to churn have a very predictable path downwards.  The danger zone is before they’ve failed and realize you’ve charged them.  That’s too late, you got to get them in the middle.

Trial usage graph

(originally from www.intercom.com)

To achieve a successful trial:

  • Understand “success” outcomes
  • Ensure you have targeted docs, tutorials and case studies to help them succeed
  • Each definition of success should have a corresponding action you expect to be complete by Day 3 and Day 7, e.g. has not messaged a user but signed up <3 days ago
  • Understand what failure looks like and once you see the signs, you need to intervene

Actionable takeaways:

  • Build per user usage (txn count and volume)
  • Build targeted docs, tutorials and case studies
  • Create success journey and intercept when not being achieved
  • Build targeted messaging schedule based on behavior (good and bad)

Hacks for before they’re signed up

Social login

  • 1 click signup which reduces friction
  • Increases monthly authenticated users / monthly unqiue users
  • Facebook is most popular preference for C2C, Google for business

Social login preferences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(originally from www.intercom.com)

 

Contextual tutorial

  • The more they complete these actions, the more likely they are to self trigger into a retained user
  • For example, Pinterest waits till you click on the picture to kick off the tutorial

Clear path to completion

  • Less likely to abandon if people know how long is left
  • For example, these could be steps, progress bar and checklists

Early value for the user

  • Focus on the job they want to complete
  • Twitter’s KPI on 20 users, so help you follow 20 people with 1 click

Progressive profiling

  • As for “just enough” information, e.g. LinkedIn asks you over time with “Strength rating”

Connect teams

  • Slack lets new team members join without additional permissions if you’ve verified with company email
  • If group is required to onboard then provide method to skip parts a user can’t do (e.g. business person can’t do javascript snippet).  Let them skip to the part they can accomplish.  Then provide invites to those who can unblock integration.

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-10-13-07-am

 

(originally from www.intercom.com)

Actionable takeaways:

  • Build social logins
  • Always show path to completion
  • Push to magic moment
  • Only ask for information when you can demonstrate value
  • Allow invitations so a team can join

3. Hacks after they’ve signed up

Onboarding new features

  • Bring on new features In the right context, i.e. when they’re feeling the pain or are in the right part of the site

new features

 

(originally from www.intercom.com)

  • Use educational content as your empty state, e.g. Trello provides welcome board with pre-made To Do cards which provide an explanation
  • Anticipate questions – give information in hints when they need it.
    “One of the best ways to do this is to center information around the intent of the customer. For example, when a customer creates a new campaign, by clicking on the create button they’ve shown intent. With new users interested, now is a good time to start sharing more advanced information like best practice guides. This type of careful consideration really does drive engagement.”

Actionable takeaways:

  • Build data driven messaging schedule – new features, risk of churn
  • Trigger updates for pro users who aren’t using all the features
  • Make sure every customer support ticket has two tags 1) product area and 2) type of conversation

 

 

 

6 months in

I’ve spend the last 3 weeks spending time with my alma mater, my investors and YC folks.  It’s been a rare opportunity to abstract myself from the grind of a startup and zoom out to 10,000 feet and think.  Here’s my learnings from the most recent experiences:

Successful people are human

A recent weekend brought the second ever YC Camp.  YC alums are invited to get offline for a weekend of mountain air, campfire chat and conversations with some of the most intelligent and successful folk in our part of the world.  Topics ranged from Trump to what’s more likely to end us: AI or synthesized biology.

You would be chatting to someone for 15 minutes around some smores about something interesting like what’s the real potential of chatbots, then I’d ask hey, what do you do.  Nearly always, my mind would be blown.  Amongst the ranks were Dan Ingalls, pioneer of object oriented computing; Justin Kan, founder of Twitch which sold to Amazon for $1b; Kevin Hale, who with little investment led a remote team to win in the online form space; Jared, who built Scribd and John Collision, who founded Stripe.  An illustrious list of successful folk.  There were lesser known names who demand just as much respect.  Oh, I just got acquired for a cool hundred million.  I’m from XYZ, which later research would reveal was worth a few billions dollars.  Yet, we invariably wore the same things: nike shoes, chinos, collared shirt and patagonia jacket.  We talked as equals and I was treated like one.  

Takeaway: success or failure – be human.

Be bold enough to have a conversation – they’re human too.

Be humble enough to never talk down – they’re human too.  

Think Big

I had many conversations with investors and advisors.  There were as many great pieces of advice relevant to our situation.  However, I was having lunch with one of my mentors when he  blew my mind.

We are going into a period of experimentation and had unconsciously drawn some constraints around our future paths: geographically and functionally.  Given our current status, we were looking to launch experiments that are a slight extension from our current product.  Instead, he smashed those thoughts by reframing our path to date.  We’re in a highly enviable situation.  We have time, a team, exciting markets and a willingness to fight.  We should think about solutions that can scale globally to solve the biggest pains we can find rather than limit our option set.  Mind blown.

Takeaway: reframe your current situation based on your strengths.  Now think global and do forward planning.

Think Small

Some of my favorite moments were outside, breathing in the crisp Bay Area air and contemplating life with some of the folk I get to call my close friends.  It seems our generation is one of contemplation with a willingness to change often and a desperate desire to find purpose and profit.  A recent Tim Ferris podcast had incepted stoic philosophical discussions amongst many of the conversations.

Strangely, it’s in these small moments I’m happiest.  When I abstract myself out and watch our conversation from above.  When I see a smile in my wife’s eyes.  When an investor/advisor or mentor blows my mind.  

In the grind of startup life I hadn’t had many of these moments in the past few months.  The last one was when one of the team sent me a Slack message that joining us was the best decision her career and that we felt like her family.  

Takeaway: I’m going to go for more small moments

Let me introduce Xendit

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Let me introduce Xendit.  We are building mobile P2P payments in South East Asia.  We’re going to leap past debit and credit cards so people can transact via their mobile phone.

Check us out at www.xendit.co

The Berkeley MBA Experience

After two years of business school, I remain Australian.  This means I recognise both good and bad.

The good:

  • People – I am grateful for the fellow human intelligence that will form my closest network many years into the future.  It’s the closest I’ll have to corporate unconditional love and support in a professional setting.  My peers allowed me to experiment, grow and supported every move.  It’s a tight knit family I suspect no other top tier school can closely replicate.

  • Platform – Berkeley has given me an incredible platform to launch my new self.  I’ve found a founding team, learnt from incredible professors and been able to access things my previous self couldn’t.  The name “Berkeley” carries amazing weight in this country and beyond.

  • Fun – The last two years have been amazingly fun.  I’ve explored, experimented and learnt an amazing amount in a safe playground.   I’ve been to the best party of my life in Vegas.  I’ve experimented with negotiation tactics and put them into practice in the real world.  I’ve decided that the world is my oyster and I can do nearly anything.

 

The bad:

  • I’m now in some box.  Good or bad, I will be judged for the letters “MBA” and the institution they are awarded from.  That’s the American way.

  • Value/Cost equation – it’s surprisingly expensive.  I think if I was born American and had studied here undergrad the MBA equation would be hard to justify given the cost.

  • Politics – Berkeley is Berkeley.  We are extremely tolerant of everything except those who disagree with the left.  There’s an amazing expectation of self-censorship lest you be labelled a bigot or your name whispered in hushed tones in the corridor.  I didn’t appreciate the double standard.

  • Public school – Berkeley is a public school.  This means bureaucracy.  It means friction.  It means we have the most student led initiatives (because we don’t have enough staff to lead them).  It means awards and scholarships aren’t based on merit, they need to be spread out amongst the crop.  It means what is rewarded/praised is the loudest and most politically correct, not the most successful.

 

Conclusion

Berkeley was the right next step.  I chose Berkeley over my other choices for its location, and its technology/startup lean.  I came into school with specific goals and achieved them. With what I know now I would have chosen the same path.  As I move forward on the uncertain path, I look back and reminisce on the best two years of my life to date.

 

So you want to be a Management Consultant

You’ve decided to become a management consultant. You’re about to graduate and are ready to take on the world. But where do you start?

I’m hoping the following can give you a jump start into your new full time job – getting into one of the world’s most reputable management consulting firms. This guide will be applicable to anyone who’s thinking about transitioning into the management consulting industry.

Understand what we do

The term “management consulting” is often misunderstood and misused. Make sure you learn what it actually means:

  • What do we do?
  • What do the firms look for?
  • What’s your relevant superpower that will have you stand out?

Resume

Management consulting resumes are very different from the norm. From what I’ve observed people often don’t know how to write one even after being told. As someone who’s been through hundreds of resumes you in all likelihood have less than 30 seconds to impress the person you’re dealing with. So make sure what you want to highlight pops from the page. Here are some high level tips for Australians. I know the US has slightly different rules…

General tips:

  • Keep it to 2 pages (even the most accomplished people I know can do this)
  • Always use the STAR approach
  • Format to your strengths
  • Know and advertise your superpower
  • Get someone in the industry to tear it apart

A quick note on the STAR approach
Always use the STAR approach (there are alternative yet similar structures): Situation, Task, Action, Result. Then always lead with a quantifiable result. Compare the two below:

President of FMAA society 2011-2012
Led student society on campus focused on the finance industry. In my time I saw membership double and the worked with my team to increase participation. I also oversaw the addition of three new sponsors

President of FMAA society 2011-2012
– 200% increase in membership through targeting advertising at 1st year students
– Managed $50,000 budget that saw greatest active participation to date
– Signed on 3 new sponsors worth $7,000 each per year, doubling our sponsored funds

I hope you can see that the content is basically the same though the impact for the reader drastically different. The second clearly highlights the quantifiable results first then speaks to how this person accomplished the result. Note the dot point format which doesn’t waste space and clearly says what needs to be said without all the filler words (I’ve hardly written full sentences in my time in management consulting).

Cover Letter

As always, it’s another important opportunity for you to stand out. Make sure you’re not just blabbering because you want to fill a page but put some insightful language around why you’re the best and why you’ll fit into the firms like a hand in glove.

General tips:

  • Keep it to one page
  • Explain your superpower in the context of what’s important for this job
  • No FAFF, just succinct successes explained
  • Find some truly genuine words about why you want join the industry and a firm
  • No spelling mistakes

After a whole day of looking at cover letter two things stand out: structure and originality. Some cover letters just are a brain dump and don’t appear well thought out. Each paragraph should have a different purpose and execute that with precision. The other big boo boo is when a cover letter sounds the same as the hundred before. Everyone ‘loves’ a firm for its reputation and people. Now go a step further and prove you actually know something about the firm.

Case interviews

Management consulting is famous for its case interviews. For those of you brand new to the idea, instead of only asking you behaviourial questions, e.g. “Tell me about a time when…”, your interviewer will ask provide you some brief information about a company and then ask you something like “What should our client do?” It is then up to the interviewee to set up a structure/framework for asking the right set of questions that will get them to the best answer for the client.

The interview is specifically testing skills that consultants use all the time:

  • Developing a structure/framework that guides the answer
  • Quick and accurate math skills
  • Business acumen and common sense
  • Competence under stress and ability to think on your feet

They are not testing for:

  • The ‘right’ answer
  • Knowledge of specific business topics
  • Knowledge of prices, exact figures or facts

Hopefully that helps.  Feel free to ask me something below.

Sam Altman visits UC Berkeley

Sam Altman visited UC Berkeley and took questions from the audience.  Here’s a quick summary of what I found interesting.

What industries are excitable?

  • Software startups still have a long way to go
  • Energy
  • Biotech (cycle times have come down)
Markets
  • YC funds the best startups it can find – even if its the same market it’s backed before
  • You should be skeptical if heaps of people are doing what you’re doing
  • Most successful companies have been the first to their markets, e.g. Facebook was the first college social network (when everyone said you can’t make money of poor college students); Google was the only search engine to launch that year
Traction
  • The best way to get traction is build something people want and will tell their friends about
  • Focus on the product at the beginning –> growth hacking comes later
  • Charge early customers so they give honest feedback
Other random tips
  • You should only ever go to 1 incubator/accelerator (if you’re not accelerated then there’s something wrong)
  • Companies that raise $30m early fail more often than those who raise $300k.  The sense of frugality and resourcefulness early on is super important and set the culture for the company which is really hard to change
  • Founding team should be able to carry the company a long way.  Avoid hiring people for as long as possible
  • YC funds the best founders who have a passion around an idea we like

Hooking up Technical and Business

I was recently asked by a business mind to write a post reflecting on how I found my technical co-founders.  It’s a question I’ve been asked a few times now so I figured I’d do my best to answer based on discussions across both the business and technical fronts.  I’m hoping my thoughts help both business and technical find each other just a little easier.

How did you meet your co-founders?

My particular story is probably not applicable to most.  It relies on a whole bunch of serendipity and blind luck.  I so happen to be the co-chair of LAUNCH – UC Berkeley’s Startup Competition.   It has been traditionally organised solely by MBAs though this made no sense to me.  As part of that role we wanted to include more engineers and undergraduates to the fold.  My other co-chair found a friend through her connections and so I was introduced to a young gentleman who had won awards for his academic efforts.  One day he approached me to discuss some ideas and we set up the time to brainstorm.  We hit it off and now are working several ideas together.  He has since introduced me to a couple of his mates and so the network builds.

Another founder I met through a chase.  I had heard stories about a guy who had won a hackathon, was a great bloke and interested in bitcoin.  I hunted a little until a mutual MBA friend introduced us and we set up a meeting.  Turns out my first co-founder had actually traveled with him and the organizer of that trip was another mutual friend.  We through around a couple of ideas and started working together.

The rest is history.

 

General principles

“Chance favors the prepared” Louis Pasteur – inventor of pasteurization

I suspect most people’s stories on finding co-founders relies on chance or some serendipity.  In my efforts to cultivate such fortune I did several things which I can recommend to others.  Below is a consolidated list based on my experiences and discussions with both sides of the table.

  • Go to events that interests engineers.  Events held at the business school probably aren’t attracting engineers in droves.  General entrepreneurship events, pitch nights or topic specific events e.g. bitcoin probably will.  
  • Be an extrovert – sounds dumb but I go to events and see all the business kids talking to each other, and all the engineering kids hanging together.  Now in this case the engineers are the hot girls at the party, so the business kids need to go over and start the conversation
  • Be  friendly – my mum always said “If you want friends be friendly”  Often I hear the anecdote that a business guy will come by and ask “Can you code” and then pitch their idea.  The plain audacity of this stupidity confounds me.  My rule in life is always ask questions – another Chinese idiom I remember is “You learn a lot more by listening than by speaking” so I will try to engage whoever I’m talking to be an interested in them.  I’ve seen business peeps do this soliloquy time and time again to no avail
  • Prove yourself – to business minds coding is some black box.  To engineers, the business side seems almost pointless – build a great product and they’ll come.  Both are true and false.  I never believe I deserve the respect of someone, I’ll always work to earn it.  That means busting my ass and proving to others (business or engineers) the value I can add.  This work ethic and results build trust and an appreciation of value

I think finding founders is like dating.  I think with a bit of work and humility one can find their better half.  I don’t think any of the above is groundbreaking insight.   I suspect this is common sense.  What is clear though is that it’s much harder to execute.  Go execute!