How do you compete against a huge company like Amazon or even a really well funded startup? 

If you are competing checkbook to checkbook, you will lose… Every time! 

The only way to tilt the odds in your favor today is to really understand the career wounds of the person and to be able to connect the dots as to how your opportunity fulfills their desires. 

This requires you to listen. Stop selling and start understanding what is important to the individual. This will allow you to stand out from the competition and allow the person you need to hire to see value above and beyond the paycheck.

Our guest today: Michael Downing, Founding Partner of MDSV Fund 

Michael is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, has co-founded 6 software companies over a 28 year career, 3 of his companies were acquired and one had an IPO in 2006.

For the last 3 years, Downing has focused on investing in promising early-stage tech companies via his venture capital fund MDSV. Michael has recruited, hired and managed hundreds of employees over the span of his career.

Today we discuss:

  • Why leading with the checkbook is a very bad idea
  • How to win talent by NOT leading with the money

Challenge today?

  • People are getting paid crazy numbers
  • People need to have a major passion of belief in the company
  • Now this is a requirement
  • Conviction & belief are the new requirement
  • wild/ disruptive concepts draw in talent
  • Without a big/bold vision you struggle- pirate ship opportunity- highly disruptive company

Why is this important to the company?

  • Key positions are being filled by people doing side hustles

    • Full Time at companies like facebook
  • Necessity for side hustles

Rick’s Nuggets

  • People are jumping ship because they no longer align with the company values
  • Too often big salaries = lot’s of problems (attrition, toxic culture, bad leadership, undefined work) 
  • If someone turns you down for a higher offer, you blew your hiring process. 
  • “Rent gold before buying silver” - Steve Newcomb

How do we solve the problem? 

  • Be new, bold, unique, disruptive concept- big vision

    • A new way to solve a problem, product in a totally different way
    • Investor pitch- ½ people say “that's crazy”- your onto something
    • Make believers in what you are doing
  • Build an advisory board first
    • Thoughtful about who the members are
    • Translates to 6-12 contacts that can be team members
    • Credibility
    • Positioning
    • Funding

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Have a interviewing process (you are being judged too)

    • People to take you seriously

Key Takeaways that the Audience can plug into their business today!  - Value:

  1. Set Yourself Up For Hiring Success: It's got to be a Big, Bold, Kickass Vision
  2. Plant Your Roots Early: Your advisory board can be the single most valuable hiring resource in the earliest of days
  3. Don't Conform: Adapt Your Policies & Benefits to people's changing lifestyles

Guest Links:





This show is proudly sponsored by Criteria Corp:

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