So this is Part Two of my reflection on the Shape Shift layoffs. I think anytime we start observing rounds of layoffs from an industry, I think it’s important for CEOs in the space, founders in the space, really anyone in the space whose key and vital to the success of a company to reflect on what’s happening. What mistakes were made, what lessons [00:00:30] are in this for observers. It’s great to learn from other people’s mistakes, that’s the best way to learn.
So I guess going back to Erik Voorhees original post about the reason for the layoffs, he alludes to the fact that it really came down to a lack of focus, that they had built Shape Shift, had [00:01:00] a great deal of success, then went out and created Coin Cap and Keep Key and Prism, and a variety of other projects that require engineers and leaders and visionaries and evangelists and communications people. I think there’s a few additional lessons in this, beyond what I was talking about in the previous episode. [00:01:30] I think the first on is to realize that in any given company, I think probably the most precious resource is management bandwidth. There are only so many people that ultimately can take entire parts of the business and just handle them for you. The bigger you get, the harder it is to get those people. When you’re hiring [00:02:00] founders, there’s just all kinds of incentives, and I think connection to the origin story, and connection to the founding circumstances. There’s a lot that I think empowers and inspires and enables these sort of early people to give a damn, and to take ownership over what happens.
Then each round of [00:02:30] hires after that inherits the culture that came right when they were hired. It’s a different set of circumstances, it always is, even in extremely successful public companies where the founding CEO wasn’t around anymore. It’s just a very different set of circumstances, so people coming are… I think when you’re at 100 plus people, they’re there for a career. They [00:03:00] want to be paid well, and they are thinking about what’s their next thing and what’s their next thing. What will they really do if they had all the money in the world and didn’t have to leave their house every day and go to work. So the first thing is that in any company there’s a limited amount of management bandwidth and that is a very scare resource, I might just say ownership bandwidth.
The second thing that is [00:03:30] pretty limited in companies is, I would call it vision bandwidth. Vision and conviction bandwidth, basically there’s only so many big ideas that exist in any given time that are actually commercially viable, that you can recruit people around, and there just isn’t an infinite amount [00:04:00] of that. For creating multiple companies and brands and stuff. I guess I’ve been thinking about the difference between my first company, when we did have layoffs. I do think we did get distracted, I won’t go over all the things we started up there, but kind of the things that Eric is talking about in regard to creating Coin cap and Keep Key and Prism. [00:04:30] They were creating a market data website, and they had a hardware wallet and they had a build your own index fund thing. Made those mistakes before, how we’re trying to avoid them at Nomics.
I think the first one is to realize the absolute huge amount of value that a good vendor or contractor can provide.
[transcript truncated due to character count restrictions]
Crypto Market Data API: https://nomicsapi.com
Personal Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClayCollins
Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/NomicsFinance
Become a supporter of this podcast: