Stephen O’Grady on applying the Moneyball philosophy to growing a small company:
So when I consider what I want RedMonk to be, and where I want us to go, I think not of Forrester, Gartner, or IDC. I think of the A’s and the Twins. The implications for hiring here are significant: you do not, as might be expected, go for the big name, the high profile, high visibility folks that drop you resumes (you’d be surprised at some of the folks that want to work for us, trust me). You instead try to hire the folks that will become those big names. You don’t hire the stars, you try to make the stars.
Unless you’re backed by very high margin offerings or VC dollars (read: not us), it’s very difficult to build a team with folks that already consider themselves high profile – particularly when your business is designed to be low margin and low overhead. Even if I had the money to bring in tons of bodies or superstars, I wouldn’t: it’s not so much that I lived through three consecutive organizations that overhired and then dumped people, disrupting lives, but more that it just doesn’t work.