Memphis native Meg Crosby joined the Start Co. teams for their weekly founder’s dinner on Monday night, August 1st. Meg talked about her career and how her first job out of college was working at the Brooks Museum in midtown Memphis. Longing to be in New York, she moved there to be a party planner, but then her desire to do something more meaningful lead her to running an undergraduate recruiting program called Credit Suisse, which is ultimately how she found her way into the investment banking business. In 2000, around the time when the Silicon Valley culture was booming, Meg became the President of a 40 person startup called Applied Semantics that was founded by 2 guys who went to California Tech in Los Angeles. Their main product was the famous AdSense, which was acquired by Google in 2003 when the technology giant only had roughly 1,000 employees. Meg was then hired as the first HR Generalist at Google and worked for them until she moved back to Memphis in 2006. She says that her passion is the city of Memphis, and making it live up to the greatest potential it has. She has been an amazing supporter of the startup and innovation culture that is constantly reoccuring through the city of Memphis. Meg is now a founding partner of PeopleCap Advisors and a co-owner of The Brass Door with her husband, which is an Irish pub located in downtown Memphis. Coming from someone who has the drive and passion to do more for the city of Memphis, here are some key takeaways from Meg Crosby.
Spend more time on the “people lense”:
Meg makes a point that there are 3 separate lenses that a CEO looks through regarding their business: the Financial lense, the Service lense, and the People lense, which is the one most often overlooked. She says that creating relationships with the people you work with everyday is the most important thing you can do, as most leaders don’t put enough time or energy towards developing trust. You want to know how to motivate and grow your co-workers because their knowledge is always of high value to you.
Recognize that being a founder is a team sport:
Meg believes that the relationship between a founder and a co-founder is crucial; it’s basically considered a marriage. It’s important for the leaders of the company to establish values early on that will lay a great foundation for future employees because once you on board them they are exposed to that critical core of values that you both display in your company. Know how your team makes decisions and consider what’s important to weigh when making decisions, for these are the values that your future employees will abide by when they making decisions for your business. She recommends to record anything that acts as significant so your entire team has a record of the decisions that are being made.
Have important conversations when things are going well:
There is a lack of stress when things are going well, it’s that simple. Meg harps on the fact that when you make decisions when things are bad, your judgement is too cloudy. Having a trusting and honest relationships with your co-workers will make this process a lot easier.
Don’t hire right away:
A message to the startups: Once you receive the money that you have been waiting for be very methodical in your hiring. It is important to focus on your values. Take a deep breath first. Meg says that instead of interviewing 10 different candidates and choosing the best one, you should instead have 3 or 4 interviews with your most qualified candidate in order to get to know them on a personal level to evaluate if they embody your same values. She says, “you can’t take too much time to make these critical hires.”
“If you complain about something long enough, it becomes your job to fix it” -Meg Crosby.
Lindsay Gess is a rising senior at Rhodes College and a Summer Associate at Start Co. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org