How should one handle the trade-off between velocity and excellence as an organization scales?

Evan is the CEO and co-founder of Abnormal Security. In this class, Evan breaks down what a functional and effective culture of leadership means at enterprise startups, and the best ways to foster that culture. Prior to Abnormal, Evan most recently led product and machine learning teams at Twitter after co-founding successful companies including Bloomspot, acquired by JPMorgan Chase, and AdStack, acquired by TellApart.

There's always a trade off between trying to go really fast and trying to do a really good job and like probably nothing should ever be on either of the extremes.

In some ways like the art of entrepreneurship is trying to figure out how do you [00:51:00] get as much done at the rec. The right levels of quality,and strike the right balance there, To also make the company very successful. And obviously the two extremes are bad, right? If you're just going fast, going fast, you're not going to be building infrastructure.

Evan: You're not spend a lot of time planning. If you spent a lot of time kind of perfecting everything. You're not going to do anything. I cannot build anything. So I think that it's, it's cliche, but like you, you got to strike the right balance. And then I think that the skill comes down to what things do you really want to go fast on?

And what things do you want to really take your time? And,one of the frameworks would like to think about are what are some of the, where are some of the reversible decisions where some, the irreversible decisions, right? What are the one way doors or what are the two way doors?

And so there's some things right there in the one-way door bucket. If you ship a product feature and it has a bug in it. If you find that bug, you can go fix it. And you can recover. And then may have limited downside. if you go, do you make a deal with a customer and the price point isn't perfect.

And maybe you charge them 20% less than you could have. That's [00:52:00] not, that's not really that big of a deal, It's probably better in some of those cases really optimized for velocity. There's some other things right. Where you really don't want to mess up. But it comes to your own internal security and privacy.

If you have a mistake there, that's going to affect your brand, your reputation, your credibility with customers. You may never recover from that. Similarly like your brand,your kind of company brands. And with customers, your brand with recruits, your brand and investors, those are things that,you sometimes don't get a second chance to make a first impression and a bad experience, right?

Evan: Can, go fact, tens or dozens or hundreds of people you've never even met, You'll never have an opportunity to really represent. So I think when it comes to, brand relationships, security, privacy, those are the things you really want to get. It's usually ends up being only like one or 2%, maybe 5% of all company work decisions for most of the things you want to optimize for velocity.

But I think that you got to do that with kind of the end game in mind and make sure that as we move really quickly, you're also thinking about not just how do you win [00:53:00] today, but what's required for success next week, next month, next quarter, next year, and make sure you're striking the balance between making forward progress today, but not.

Moving in the wrong direction, that will require a much bigger overhaul down the road that we ended up net negative on time.

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