There is no textbook technique for building a startup engineering team: everyone wears multiple hats in the early days.
But as a company enters its growth phase, the recruitment process becomes systematized, new hires are sorted into discrete units, and a thin layer of management is applied to keep everything on track.
When Jean-Denis Greze took on the CTO role at Plaid in 2017, the fintech still funding its Series A had “about 20 engineers still trying to feel their way to product-market fit.” writes corporate reporter Ron Miller.
Today, Plaid’s engineering team consists of 350 people.
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In an interview, Greze explained how Plaid moved from an ethos where all hands were on deck to a system where contributors had clearly defined roles to which they were not bound.
I asked Ron what surprised him most when he related this story, and he said it was the fact that Visa’s failed attempt to buy Plaid last year made it easier for them to hire new tech talent.
Suddenly, “people who didn’t want to be part of a startup and wanted to solve bigger problems around scale and security were willing to talk to them,” says Ron.
“Previously, they felt that Plaid was a little too small for their ambitions.”
Today and tomorrow we have team coverage from Demo Day Winter 2022 by Y Combinatorincluding a selection of staff favourites, so be sure to check the site every afternoon.
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2 reasons demo days are dead
Demo Days are a showcase for tech media, but does this performative Silicon Valley tradition still benefit founders and investors?
In a guest post for TC+, Michael Redd, co-founder and chairman of 22 Ventures, shares two factors that make demo days less relevant: Many startups sign financing deals ahead of the big show, and founders are more interested in working with value-add investors.
“Just getting rid of the demo tag won’t help founders find that value or let investors offer that value,” Reed writes. “What we need is a better understanding of why the demo tag is falling short and how to find deals on a much more intimate level.”
Crypto mining is nearing a major inflection point
The Ethereum community is preparing for a sea change.
A long-awaited decision to move from a proof-of-work consensus protocol to a proof-of-work consensus protocol will force many to mine other cryptocurrencies, writes Warren Rogers, CFO at Blockware Solutions.
“Ethereum miners are at very high risk of their machines becoming obsolete overnight” as PoS requires specialized hardware that could make Bitcoin the top cryptocurrency of choice.
“While this may be true in the short term, in the long term this transition sets the precedent to be able to significantly change the underlying protocol,” says Rogers.
Use RevOps to develop a customer-centric approach to B2B sales
Employees are hired to do a specific job, which is why even early-stage startups can become isolated.
Businesses that find ways to integrate their sales flow and customer success operations have an advantage, writes Erol Toker, founder and CEO of Truly.co.
“Optimizing your unique journey to better customer engagement requires a multidisciplinary team focused solely on that goal, with the customer as the guiding light,” says Toker.
“We call it RevOps.”
Improving discovery for NFTs will empower digital creators and marketplaces
It’s easy to create a recommendation algorithm for a company that sells jackets online, but when selling NFTs, optimizing for unlimited inventory, anonymous customers, and opaque consumer behavior becomes orders of magnitude more difficult.
These may only be growing pains for NFT marketplaces, but the current state is hurting digital creators as their art becomes another drop in the ocean, writes Alexandre Robicquet, co-founder and CEO of Crossing Minds.
The key to solving this problem, says Robicquet, is building a system that encourages the discovery of NFTs:
“If a recommendation algorithm can ensure buyers can meaningfully discover NFTs they love or think have investment potential, or both, and get buyers to come back for more, then artists will benefit for years to come.”
IT can play an important role in promoting sustainability
Data centers use about 1 percent of the world’s electricity each year, but when you consider that a heatwave in Antarctica just cost us another ice shelf, every bit counts.
In an in-depth post, Cloudbolt CEO Jeff Kukowski presents several strategies that reduce IT energy consumption by employing intelligent automation, increasing visibility, reducing shadow IT and optimizing CI/CD pipelines.
“The sum of many small changes will lead to the transformative improvements that need to be made,” he says.
Plaid’s staffing story, RevOps for B2B sales, demo day’s demise – TechCrunch Source link Plaid’s staffing story, RevOps for B2B sales, demo day’s demise – TechCrunch