Is it all or nothing really?

I’m watching a series of lectures on how to start a Start Up and on topic of ‘Culture and Hiring’ two themes keep coming up again and again. Take a look yourself (I’m particularly intrigued by min 22:01 onward)

and this one (again min 17:57 onward)

So as I understand it the emphasis are:

  • In order to have a successful start-up, founders need to go through a gruelling hiring process and select only die-hard fan. These chosen people are so dedicated that when the time comes to choose between work and seeing their family or work and their health, (you guessed it) they choose work!!
  • Hire super-hero! (those with “ninja” skill-set, “rock star” caliber, “gurus” ). Hire best of the breed, world-class people. Those who come on the job, ready to solve only hard problems.

I may be naive but I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom to a 3-year old so it’s incomprehensible to me to choose between a working on a fantastic job in startup or corporate world and not seeing my daughter for 3 years! If you have started a family, in my book there are very few jobs that worth this type of sacrifice (I would seriously consider if I was offered to be an astronaut or a researcher working on a cure for Ebola!) but for every thing else the answer is plain and simple: NO!! If asked whether or not I accept the best opportunity in Airbnb on my last year of life (or even last 10 years of my life) the answer it: Go f#$@ yourself!! What type of flawed question is this? to prove that I have buy-in to Airbnb?

Why is the picture is always painted as black and white? Why the narrative is not some thing like I can work in a company like Basecamp have a great impact and also enjoy spending time my family?? Why can’t I work somewhere like Balsamiq without being a ninja, rockstar or a unicorn for that matter??!

I’m all for hiring passionate and hardworking people but I also believe not every one needs to be a super star from and solve hard problem. Set up reasonable expectation and give people room to grow, and you’ll be amazed how ordinary people can change the world.

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