Archive for Leadership


I took my first sabbatical this year, after Close started (generously) offering fully paid 4-week sabbaticals for all employees after 5 years.

Recently I spoke with our CEO, Steli, who just came back from his own sabbatical, about how our sabbaticals went and what we learned. Our conversation was recorded for our company’s internal podcast (we use Castos) but I thought I’d also write up some of my sabbatical thoughts and lessons learned while our conversation is still fresh…

Read the rest of this entry »

When, Who, How to Hire an Engineering Team (including Hiring Remotely)

This is the blog post version of a talk I gave at True University in Berkley, CA in June 2018 to help early stage startups scale their engineering teams from 2 to 20.

Hiring is hard. Really hard. I’ve been hiring on small startup engineering teams for the past 8 years (most recently grown Close’s engineering team from 2 to 14) and hiring really great engineers never gets easy. But it does get easier with practice and the right strategy.

Here I’m going to share some things I’ve learned about when and how to find the right people for your stage, how to structure a hiring process, and distributed/remote work. And most importantly: mistakes I’ve made along the way at Close.

Read the rest of this entry »