21 Must-Read Articles on Building World-Class Teams

Capital and talent tend be found in inverse proportions. When capital is scarce, talent is, at least in a relative sense, somewhat abundant. Now, when capital for start-ups is relatively abundant, hiring a world-class team can be quite challenging. There have been a number of great articles written about things to be thinking about as you build a team and so I wanted to aggregate some of the best of what I’ve seen. Job

There’s definitely a technical focus here (assume this is geared at your average Silicon Valley tech startup) but I think much of what’s written in these articles is applicable to most companies. Also, I’ve tried to avoid the articles that are mostly common-sense platitudes (“Hire great people”, “Hire people smarter than you”, etc.) and instead took a bias for writings that had interesting insights and actionable advice. I hope you enjoy! (BTW, I should mention in passing that if you’re interested in being a part of world-class team, RG Labs is hiring.)

#1 – Cult Creation – One of the most interesting posts on hiring and building great teams that I’ve read. From Steve Newcombe (who build Powerset).

#2 – How to hire the best people you’ve ever worked with – A classic Marc Andreessen post on team building.

#3 – HOWTO: Recruit Rock Stars – Great article from Joe Stump of SimpleGeo.

#4 – How to Find and Hire Amazing People – An excellent four part series (Part 2, Part 3 and c/2010/01/how-to-find-and-hire-amazing-people-part-4.html”>Part 4) from Adam Smith of Xobni.

#5 – The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing (version 3.0) – Classic article from Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software, the guy who coined “Smart and Gets Things Done“.

#6 – – Startup Hiring: Why You Should Date Before Getting Married Sage advice from Dharmesh Shah.

#7 – What are the best methods for recruiting software engineers today? – Uber-helpful Quora post from Quora’s own Charlie Cheever. Here’s another Quora thread worth reading if you’re very early stage: What are the best ways to recruit top engineering talent to work on a pre-Series A startup with no funding but big ideas?

#8 – Hiring the First 5 Engineers: What Sort of People Do You Want on Your Team? – Elad Gil of Mixer Labs and now Twitter has written some great stuff on hiring. Here’s another good post from him on Ninja Hiring Techniques for Early Stage Startups: How to Get Your First 3 Employees.

#9 – Recruiting Smart People – Lots of great insight in this one.

#10 – Never Read Another Resume – Some good advice from 37 Signals founder Jason Fried.

#11 – Hiring Religion – Classic article from Paul English.

#12 – Never Hire Job Hoppers. Never. They Make Terrible Employees – Suster is probably the most prolific writer in the startup world these days. Here’s another good article that although a bit more sales-focused is good as well: How to Improve Hiring at Startups.

#13 – What developers think when you say “Rock Star” – Love this one!

#14 – Will the real programmers please stand up? – Article on tech interviewing from the RethinkDB guys. Here’s another great one from the same folks: Building a world-class team: six mistakes I made early in my career.

#15 – In the war for talent, love is a weapon – This one had me at the title…

#16 – Hiring Employee #1 – You knew Jason Cohen would have some good advice here didn’t you?

#17 – Hiring is Obsolete – Paul Graham is easily one of my favorite writers. As usual, he has some fantastic insights in this post.

#18 – People – How to Recruit a World Class Team – This one borders on “platitudey” but actually is pretty solid.

#19 – Engineering Management – Hiring – Some really good advice from Yishan Wong who helped build the team at Facebook.

#20 – Hazards of Hiring – This might be one of the most under-rated articles ever written about hiring. Very dense information in this one from Eric Sink.

#21 – How to pick a co-founder – More relevant at the earliest stages but relevant advice from Venture Hacks even if you’re a bit further along.

I hope you’ve found this list useful. If you have read other things that you’ve found helpful in building teams please post in the comments. At some point I’d love to post a follow-up to this and include other great articles that I come across.

21. May 2011 by Jon
Categories: Entrepreneurship, RG Labs | 6 comments

  • Jacob Klein

    Fantastic compilation, Jon – thanks. It was useful to see where all these gurus agree and where they don't.

  • Johnfurrier

    Nice post… Good luck with your venture.   Sounds exciting.  I am about to launch a startup section to my fast growing blog SiliconANGLE.com if you want to be featured.  We love “data focused” startups.  We are deep into big data.

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  • Cristina

    Have just discovered some more summer reading – thanks for that!!
    Check our mention of you in our blog http://becariosalpoder.keyinte… in the hopes of inspiring the young people we work with…
    Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.tech-buzz.in/ Santhosh

    Nice Tip Great post I must say. Simple but yet
    interesting. Wonderful work!

  • http://www.tech-buzz.in/ Santhosh

    Nice Tip Great post I must say. Simple but yet
    interesting. Wonderful work!