Product Leaders

with Adam Nash

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Be Better

The real mission is to be better each time a company is created.

Adam Nash

CEO of Wealthfront, Product Expert, Founder

Lessons Learned

Culture is felt in how you deal with ideas, discussion, debate, frameworks, and execution.

People spend most of their waking hours at work.

Learn from predecessors to make your company better.


Lesson: Product Leaders with Adam Nash

Step #10 Be Better: The real mission is to be better each time a company is created

I think the ethos of building companies goes beyond great product. You'd be surprised how many organizational dysfunctions and teams are actually hurt by things that are even more important than the product decisions. Both leadership and values and how you work together, what type of environment you're trying to build.

I would encourage all of you, who are going to build companies, or join companies to really remember that how you treat people, the framework of how you reach these decisions, how you encourage innovation and listening to ideas. How you discuss things, how you debate things, how you execute – even when not everyone agrees on everything, has a lot to do with the type of company you build.

I had a business-school professor who made a big impression on me, who argued that how you build these organizations, that people spend most of their waking hours at work. If you build a miserable environment for people, you really are making most of their life miserable. That affects their entire life, they go home miserable. They don't treat other people they care about, in their lives, as well because they're miserable at work.

That's one of the reasons I'm comfortable. Having grown myself into an overhead position as an executive and a leader. I actually think that there's a lot of value in thinking about these problems. Not just at the individual contributor level, but all the way through the chain. Because the better we make this process of playing this team sport together, the better we build companies, the more we're fulfilling our real mission. Which is, it can be better this time, different this time.

I was at Airbnb this morning. I'm telling you, it's amazing. The place is like magic. There were some elements of it that remind me of eBay in earlier days. The thing is growing like crazy, it's a marketplace. At the same time, you see they've learned from the predecessors in Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. They're trying to make their company better. At LinkedIn, we tried to make the company better – eBay, we tried to make much better than the software companies that came before it.

That's the mission that I think I'm excited about. It's one of the reasons I'm here, I'm happy to talk to you folks because I know a lot of you will be involved with the next generations of making things better. I can't think of a better thing to do than to support that mission.

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