It's always about the team

Follow the talent - Issue #8

If I was a young designer or engineer, I'd jump at this chance to join a startup founded by Naval Ravikant (job links below). If you don’t know Naval, he is the co-founder and CEO of AngelList. He’s also a very successful investor himself.

But, more importantly, I admire his wisdom and philosophy about work and life. I like his approach to work-life balance. I also think he is spot on about the future of work and that we all should eventually be working for ourselves. He refers to this as productizing yourself. I have called it the “Product of You.”

“Because it comes from someone who’s steeped in Silicon Valley and tech companies, it’s always going to have a bias towards that.

But I think it’s good for anybody who wants to be entrepreneurial. Anybody who wants to control their own life. Anybody who wants to deterministically and reliably improve their ability to create wealth over time, is patient, and is looking at the long haul.”


Bet on the team

I often tell my clients to bet on the team, not necessarily the product or the company. A prestigious company name doesn’t count for much if you end up working for a toxic boss or talentless moron. They will hold you back and destroy your upward mobility. A product that sounds exciting is meaningless if the team has no track record of success and fails to successfully bring it to life.

When you’re considering your next move, look at the team — and I mean the broader concept of “team.” Who are the investors? Do they have a history of successful investments? Who is on the Board? Are they smart, connected people who also have a track record of being on the Boards of other successful companies?

Most importantly, who are the founders and the core team? Have they had successful exits before? Do you admire them? Would you enjoy working with them? Could you learn from them? Are you aligned with their business practices, product philosophy, work ethic, and moral compass? Naval Ravikant is one of those people that you would be proud of working with.

Smart and talented people who are well-connected and know how to get things done will find a way to succeed again. I’d place my bets on them when looking to make my next move.

Naval’s latest startup is called Apex. It’s stealth, so all I know is what I’ve been able to read in Naval’s tweets and the brief summary on AngelList:

Apex helps you build better habits in fitness, nutrition and health


Jobs at Apex

Founding Mobile Engineer

Founding Designer


What I've been reading and writing

  • I recently wrote on article about how to negotiate job offers when negotiation isn’t one of your strengths. “The Most Important Factor in Getting a Better Job Offer - Never let them land you without a fight

  • I just read this article about the dangers of workplace stress. “Workers who do not work in an open, trusting environment had greater odds of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.”

  • Millennial leadership is very different than the Boomer leadership many of us have experienced. Research shows that the style of leadership millennials are striving to emulate is more diverse and inclusive than in previous generations. It’s more about partnership. It’s more about staying true to personal values.