Manual In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations with the Visionaries of the Digital World

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The feeling that the work will have tremendous influence and is part of a strong, clear vision -- all those things. Recruiting usually requires more than you alone can do, so I've found that collaborative recruiting and having a culture that recruits the A players is the best way. Any interviewee will speak with at least a dozen people in several areas of this company, not just those in the area that he would work in. That way a lot of your A employees get broad exposure to the company, and -- by having a company culture that supports them if they feel strongly enough -- the current employees can veto a candidate.

That seems very time-consuming.

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Yes, it is. We've interviewed people where nine out of ten employees thought the candidate was terrific, one employee really had a problem with the candidate, and therefore we didn't hire him. The process is very hard, very time-consuming, and can lead to real problems if not managed right. But it's a very good way, all in all. Yet, in a typical startup, a manager may not always have the time to spend recruiting other people. I disagree totally. I think it's the most important job. Assume you're by yourself in a startup and you want a partner. You'd take a lot of time finding the partner, right?

He would be half of your company. Why should you take any less time finding a third of your company or a fourth of your company or a fifth of your company? When you're in a startup, the first ten people will determine whether the company succeeds or not. Each is 10 percent of the company.

Candid Conversations Intro

So why wouldn't you take as much time as necessary to find all the A players? If three were not so great, why would you want a company where 30 percent of your people are not so great? A small company depends on great people much more than a big company does. Hiring the Best Some excerpts and pills from interviews with Steve Jobs about investing in your talent pool. Even though many of these hints apply to corporate business and life in general, they are closely related to production business per se.

These words from Jobs also relate to common sense in general crewing practices and often forgotten in the mad rush to crew for a project.

Steve Jobs

Multipliers: 1. Attract talented people and deploy them at their highest point of contribution 2. Create an intense environment that requires people's best thinking and work 3.


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Define an opportunity that causes people to stretch 4. Drive sound decisions through rigorous debate 5. Give people ownership of results and invest in their success Why do smart people leave companies. Because they are smart and if the feel like they are not invested in or given opportunities Do what you love to do. Find your true passion.

Do what you love to do a make a difference! The only way to do great work is to love what you do. Be different. Think different. Do your best. Do your best at every job. No sleep! Success generates more success. So be hungry for it. Hire good people with passion for excellence. Don't hesitate in throwing bad apples out of the company.

Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be quickly and decisively acted upon and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it! Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Start small, think big.

Don't worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do.

The 500 Year Delta

If there's a better technology available, use it no matter if anyone else is not using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard. Focus on the outcome. People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected. If they don't know it, they won't buy your product. Pay attention to design. Design is how it works. Ask for feedback.


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Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing.

If you're at the top of the chain, sometimes people won't give you honest feedback because they're afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product — listen to your customers first. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Say no to 1, things to make sure you don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much.

Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world.

Napster Co-Founder Sean Parker Makes ‘Significant’ Investment in Weta Digital

Parker co-founded Napster at age 19 and Plaxo at 21, and in , joined with Mark Zuckerberg to develop the online social network Facebook. He served as Facebook's founding president, and in co-founded Causes on Facebook, which registered million people to donate money and take action around social issues. Based in Wellington, New Zealand and led by four-time Oscar and BAFTA-winning senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri, Weta Digital is known for developing innovative VFX and animation technology which has driven groundbreaking animated characters like Gollum, Kong, Neytiri, and Caesar, widely regarded as some of the best digital characters ever put on screen.

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