Business Insider: Want to Recruit Great People in a Talent Crunch? Solve a Real Problem.
There’s an awesome interview of Square’s COO Keith Rabois over at Business Insider.
Square is one of those companies that’s going to disintermediate about three or four ideas in the small business space, and they have an awesome team over there (disclosure: they are a Jobvite customer).
A couple of quotes resonate from the article:
Want to recruit great people in a talent crunch? Solve a real problem. “We have a mission of helping local businesses thrive so that they can grow their businesses so that they can hire people so that they can help the U.S. economy. It’s not social gaming – that’s a very good business, it can be a very creative exercise for the people who work there, but it’s not clear that it has any societal impact, and if it does it may be negative.”
Too many web companies solve fake problems. Great products, like Square or the iPad, have amazing solutions to real problems. For example, the entire POS market is probably at risk because Square’s products is going to make things more efficient, cheaper, and better for small businesses.
“And in fact the original vision of Square was the proliferation of these devices, whether an Android phone or iPhone or an iPad, means the entire world of payments and commerce can be completely rearranged.”
Can that be said about a lot of startup businesses being created now? Are there businesses being created that will rearrange markets, or just charge people.
Another point was that the current bust is hurting the businesses out there with great business models because they are draining talent. You figure there’s about 2,000 startups that just shouldn’t be around with an average headcount of 10 people — that’s 20,000 people could be contributing to the likes of Square, you know, solving real problems instead taking away from society.
It’s harder to build great tech companies in great economic times. “One of the perverse things about a bubble in Silicon Valley is, it tends to fragment talent across too many companies, so you get sort of a suboptimal number of successful companies. If everybody starts their own companies you don’t wind up with a density of talent at one place, which is what really is required to build an amazing company, whether it’s PayPal or Apple back in the day, or Yammer or Square today.”
For a great read, check out the complete interview at Business Insider.