A word from a CEO #96

Talent Density

Hi all – 

I’ve been following the Netflix story for a very, very long time.

Back when I was at HubSpot, I had the opportunity to get to know Patty McCord (Netflix’s former Head of People). We were trying to define what HubSpot’s culture would look like, and this was also around the time that Netflix’s original Culture Deck was published – which by 2014, had been viewed over five million times. Patty also helped us at the beginning of Drift (you can listen to a Seeking Wisdom episode I did with her here).

So when the book No Rules Rules came out, it made me reflect on the time I spent with Patty, the culture we have created so far at Drift, what’s changed from the early days as we’ve scaled the company, and what we might need to change going forward.

One of the things that Reed Hastings talks about a lot is talent density – and that the biggest perk you can have is working with the most exceptional people that you can. I love this idea. It goes back to the idea that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If you find the best of the best – it will breed success.

When we started Drift, my co-founder Elias or I interviewed every single person we hired. This had to change as we scaled, but the reason things on the hiring front take longer these days is that we want to really focus on looking at the team, hiring the best – and figuring out how we can all be involved in the hiring process so we can keep this culture of excellence going.

And beyond hiring and training, the way that we are going to cultivate this type of culture is by really calling out what we celebrate and what we don’t tolerate – and that is why we published our own Culture Deck (which will be made public soon). There are some strong words in it. There are also things we left out. Not because they’re not important, but because we explain and share them in different ways. But the goal is for anyone to read this and think “I know what to expect working at Drift.” Like everything else at Drift, I know that this will change and be updated as we learn and grow.


Stop Killing your Growth

Don’t miss out the latest news regarding WordPress, Product Management, Product Development, Growth and SEO