This week we’re talking to Elad Gil, co-founder of Mixer Labs and Color Genomics and author of the "High Growth Handbook". We look at how companies are so focused on growth and often forget the importance of scaling. We also talk about how innovation is done right. Companies that innovate early keep innovating and companies that innovate late often never do it again. 

Time Stamps 

  • 2:16- Introduction into Elad’s background and his experience 

  • 4:05 - Elad’s time at Google and its growth from 1500 to 15,000 employees

  • 6:01- Elad on starting Google’s mobile team to build functions such as Google Maps and email

  • 7:30- The importance of plugging into your core network who will work with you for the rest of your career

  • 9:10- Lessons from leaving a big company- the distribution of success is vastly different at a startup 

  • 11:24- Hiring whilst remembering that startups team sport, right not about the individual action necessarily

  • 9:53- Elad’s magic bullets on recruiting- company culture should be unique, often founders are guilty of cloning company culture

  • 14:46- How personal experiences are the biggest drivers behind purpose driven companies 

  • 16:53- How he transformed Color from a software stack for genomics and clinical genomics lab into broad based care delivery, population health and research platform

  • 18:22- Elad’s experience as an investor and the importance of product market intersection 

  • 20:15- SAS is a rapidly evolving industry in terms of generations and products

  • 21:20- How do you diligence for a product in a market that doesn’t exist yet?

  • 23:31- How to scale your backend 10 X or even a hundred X whilst making sure you can serve more and more users

  • 25:07- Elad emphasises the importance of putting together an executive team which ultimately help with scaling your company 

  • 26:47- The importance of hiring people you’ll learn from and why hiring top heavy isn't necessarily a bad thing 

  • 27:57- Writing off employees who are struggling can be a major mistake companies make, it's important to work out to figure out who's going to keep going and scaling rapidly with the company

  • 30:24- The High Growth Handbook and Elad’s pearls of wisdom whilst writing it 

  • 32:35- Elad’s must consume sections in his book 

Guest info:

Elad Gil is a serial entrepreneur, operating executive, and investor or advisor to private companies including AirBnB, Pinterest, Square, and Stripe.

His illustrious career saw him at Google where he overlooked and began the mobile team. He was involved in three acquisitions and acted as a product manager for Google, Mobile Maps and several other products. Elad Gil was also the VP of corporate strategy at Twitter for several years as well as running multiple product teams (Geo, Search).

Before his time at Google, Elad had market seeding and product management experience from a number of Silicon Valley companies. 

Elad holds a Ph.D. from MIT and has degrees in mathematics and biology from UCSD.

Podcast Notes 

High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups From 10 to 10,000 People. Every high-growth company eventually needs to tackle the same set of challenges around organizational structure, late-stage funding and secondary stock sales, culture, internationalization, hiring executive for roles the founders don’t understand, buying other companies, and more. This is the handbook for navigating those challenges. “Elad Gil is one of Silicon Valley’s seriously knowledgeable and battle-tested players. If you want the chance to turn your start-up into the next Google or Twitter, then read this trenchant guide from someone who played key roles in the growth of these companies.”- Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn. 

Listen on iTunes, Spotify or online.

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