Tuesday, July 17, 2018

High Growth Handbook! LIVE!

After two years of hard work the High Growth Handbook is now available for sale on Amazon, Kindle, and Kobo. An Audible book will be live within a week or so. The High Growth Handbook is a labor of love. And by “love” I mean “I love that this was easier than launching a startup. Oy vey startups are hard!”.

The High Growth Handbook is based on my experiences working with companies post product-market fit as they scaled from a handful of engineers, and maybe a business person or designer, to multi-hundred or multi-thousand person organizations. The book covers topics like the role of the CEO, hiring and managing an executive team, doing re-orgs, managing your board of directors, buying other companies, raising late stage rounds, and the development of new functional areas like product management, marketing, and PR. 

My own frameworks, observations, and tactical advice[1] reflected in the book are complemented by interviews with some of the leading operators and investors in tech. There are Sam Altman, Marc Andreessen, Patrick Collison, Joelle Emerson, Erin Fors, Reid Hoffman, Claire Hughes Johnson, Aaron Levie, Mariam Naficy, Keith Rabois, Naval Ravikant, Ruchi Sanghvi, Shannon Stubo Brayton, and Hemant Taneja. I personally learned a lot from these discussions and am grateful for the time and perspectives these leading figures in technology and entrepreneurship provided.

The High Growth Handbook is not meant to be read end-to-end, although you can do that if you want (thanks mom!). Rather, you can flip to a specific section that may be relevant to something your company is grappling with, or read through all the interviews at once. Justin Kan summarized it nicely on Twitter.

In the book, I steered away from the canned, generic, useless advice found in your average business book like “A players hire A players”. I also avoided writing a 500 page book on a single concept. Instead I focused on detailed tactics for how to scale recruiting or what specifically to look for in executives. One key thing to keep in mind as you read this book—all startup advice needs to be filtered through the unique context of your own situation or company. The only good generic startup advice is “there is no good generic startup advice”.

The book is being published by Stripe, and in particular, a new experimental publishing imprint called Stripe Press. Stripe was a natural fit as a publisher given their focus on helping entrepreneurs to start and scale enduring companies. My hope is that the High Growth Handbook can be of use to entrepreneurs, investors, and people working at startups around the world. I am excited to be the first in what may end up being a long line of books about startups, business, and self learning—all crucial when kicking off a new enterprise.

Thank you to all the startups, founders, and investors, who have been kind enough to let me be part of their journey. Startups and technology are fundamentally forces for good. Literal hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty by entrepreneurship and technology and by the ability to obtain and share knowledge, to buy and sell products, and to participate in a global conversation and economy at scale. It has been an honor to be part of the technology world and many of its leading companies. 

I am excited to see what the coming decades bring and what you, dear reader, go on to create. Onwards!

[1] I joined Google at around 1500 people and left at 15,000. I sold my first startup, MixerLabs, to Twitter when Twitter was just ~90 people, and left the company at around 1500 employees. I am also an investor in companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, Gusto, Instacart, Stripe, Square, Pinterest, Wish, Zenefits and others. In some cases I invested as early as just the founder(s), and in others later in the life of the company.