On Monday, May 23rd, Quire CEO Brad Silver came to talk to our accelerator teams at the weekly Founders Dinner. Quire seeks to make the deep resource of doctor-patient interactions more quantifiable and transferable by translating clinical notes into useful, searchable data. With an abundance of experience in management and entrepreneurship, Mr. Silver shared his knowledge of the difficulties that come with starting a business and managing a team of employees. Here are five key takeaways from his talk with our founders.
- Make sure your team is right
“Slow to hire, quick to fire.” This may sound a bit ruthless but when building a company, you have to be extremely careful that every member of your team is a good fit. Mr. Silver emphasized that you must be purposeful about your culture and not be afraid to drop a team member that is disrupting that culture if you want to build a successful business.
- Part of your role as a manager is to shield your team’s stress
It’s your team’s job to focus, but it’s your job to keep them focused. If you want your team to be productive you have to take some of the burden of stress and responsibility off their shoulders. That also means serving as the chief supporter and barrier breaker within the company. This may seem like a lot of responsibility, but as the manager you have to be stronger than the rest of your team. You have to “find it within yourself to stay strong,” or your employees won’t have a source to draw strength from.
- Be an agent of change
It’s hard to be caught off guard by change when you’re the one initiating it. When you are that agent of change it helps you to better manage the change that is unwanted but inevitable. Mr. Silver says that his willingness to enact change, take initiative, and be productive has helped him to know what he can and should take action on.
- Know when to pivot
The world of consumer wants is an ever-changing landscape. It can be an incredibly difficult decision to change your company’s direction, but if you don’t you could end up with a failed business. A different company is better than a dead one. Listen to your customers, and be willing to modify your company’s offering if it becomes clear you’re in the wrong area, as Mr. Silver did with Quire.
- Focus on what you can control
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is a “bipolar existence”. There are huge hills and valleys, ups and downs. For Mr. Silver, one of the ups included closing a $2.6 million investment round, while a down was being given the go ahead on a proposal only to have it completely shut down at the last minute because the internal dynamics of the situation got in the way. As a founder, you must be able to motivate yourself in both the good and the bad times, no matter how hard that may seem. “Take solace in the things you can control,” and don’t dwell too much on the things you can’t.
Grant Hechinger is a Start Co. Summer Associate and a rising senior at Rhodes College. He can be reached at email@example.com.