As you may know, I am a writer. That is my job day in and day out. Each week I do interviews with business owners for a site called Los Gatos Patch. These interviews connect me to people who took the leap and started a company despite all the reasons why they shouldn't. I find it so incredibly inspiring and each and every time I finish the interview, I get a burst of total inspiration on my endeavors. I was able to meet with Jack Levin the other day to talk to him about his company Imageshack. This is the company that created YFrog, the image sharing product that you are probably using when you upload photos to twitter, which now has over 18 million monthly users. Here is the full interview in case you wanted to read it, but there were three incredible points that he brought up that I thought would help you business people out there.
"I met the founder of Google at Stanford and was actually reluctant to give them my resume because I thought 'does the world really need another search engine?' There were several successful companies already and I could see myself going to one of those. After hearing more about what they were doing I asked them if they would hire me, and I could see how it goes. I was employee number 20 when I started working at Google 6 years ago. I couldn't believe how different they were. Nothing about what they were doing was traditional. Thinking big is definitely in their DNA. They think that it is possible to achieve anything and operate with that idea. They know that whatever they put their mind to, they can do."
"Having the right people at the company can make or break. You can be brilliant as a founder and can hire brilliant people but if they are not compatible then you won't achieve your results. We have 21 employees now, and they are great, but we have had some past issues getting to this point. The people we are after are good at what they do which means they could go do that for a ton of other companies. We have learned to present people with challenges and keep everything interesting which keeps people here instead of jumping ship to other companies. They have options and we know that. We work hard to make them happy and challenged and always learning.
"I feel like the founder of the company is forever in the company's DNA. When people step down and let others run the company it just isn't the same company. Look at Steve Jobs, despite being sick and everything else, he is still incredibly involved in every portion of his company, and they create amazing products. When the founder starts straying away or doing other things, it just doesn't feel like the same company. I would encourage anyone who runs a company to be at the helm of the company and stay there."