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The Executioner’s Tale
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The Executioner’s Tale

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Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything. ...

Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything.

How do you inspire your team to be insanely great--and accountable? Google, Zynga, KPCB’s John Doerr and Intel all used the Objective and Key Result approach (OKRs) as the secret for providing the discipline for radical growth. Many start-ups as well as established companies are adopting it, hoping to throw accelerant on their execution.

But OKRs are controversial and while they sound simple, they aren’t easy. Christina's been refining the OKR process with the start-ups she invest in and advises.

If you’re curious, learn more about OKRs here http://www.eleganthack.com/the-art-of-the-okr/

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  • Once upon ati me there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. <br /> “Maybe,” the farmer replied. <br /> The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. <br /> “Maybe,” replied the old man. <br /> The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. <br /> “Maybe,” answered the farmer. <br /> The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. <br /> “Maybe,” said the farmer. <br />
  • When I joined Linkedin, many people said “huh, that’s interesting.” Many did not know why I’d join a resume site. <br /> When I joined Myspace, they said good luck. It looked hard, but possible. <br /> When I joined Zynga they all congratulated me on landing in one of the hottest spots in the valley. <br /> I’ve learned to say “We’ll see.” <br /> But one thing I did learn <br />
  • Once upon a time there was a start-up. <br />
  • Once upon a time there was a start-up. <br />
  • This start-up has a vision to bring delicious artisinal loose-leaf tea to  fine dining restaurants and discerning cafes.   <br /> There were two founders. <br />
  • Hanna was first-generation Chinese, and loved the tea she grew up with at her parents house. She despaired of getting a nice cup of green dragon well after a fine meal. <br />
  • Jack was British, and equally miserable at cafes that could poach an egg perfectly yet thought earl grey was a who and not a what. They knew there were plenty of great tea producers. So they decided they would connect great tea with fine restaurants and cafes that were snobbish about coffee but ambivalent about tea. <br />
  • And because they went to Stanford and could do math, they managed to raise a little money to make a go at it. (because no one is dumb enough to start a company with their own money, right?) <br />
  • (because no one is dumb enough to start a company with their own money, right?) <br />
  • After a happy six months decorating and office and hiring engineers and making a very pretty website where buyers could find tea producers and order tasty tea and giving away tea at tech meet-ups and even closing a few deals they started to feel a little uneasy. While they had another 18 months of runway, they wondered what was going on. They had many many little tea producers signing up, but only two buyers. A lopsided market is not a profitable market. Like good little founders, they decided to go out and sell more tea themselves, to learn more about the market!  <br />
  • One day, Hann came back with a very big order from a distributor. This distributor sold tea to all kinds of restaurants, big and small, as well as canned good and dry goods and coffee.  Jack was both happy and alarmed! He was happy to see so much money about to come into the business, yet this was not TO PLAN. They were here to connect fine dining and fine tea! <br /> A few days later, Hann used her connections to close another deal with another distributor. It was a lot of money, but Jack was even more alarmed. This distributor did not want to use the nice self-serve website they built. Hann had to enter in their information by hand... and would every time they wanted to order! How would that scale? But it was soooo much money. and then she did it again and again. <br />
  • Then, a few weeks later, Hann pulled Jack into their conference room. They had to kick out their lead programmer, as he liked to hide there to code quietly. Hann pointed out to Jack that they were doing better connecting to distributors seeking to up-scale their offering than cafes. That a single sale with a distributor resulted in more money per sales call. The restaurants didn&apos;t like like evaluating tea producers using the site either.  Perhaps it was time to rethink their market focus. They went back and forth for awhile, but Jack, because despite being a designer he could also do math, realized this might be a good choice. But before uprooting everything and telling new stories to the employees and hiring a salesperson, he suggested they talk with Jim Frost. <br />
  • Jim Frost was the first angel who gave them money. He was a valley veteran, and had seem many companies go under as well as a few succeed. <br /> He was wise and insightful and could surely help the figure this out. <br /> They had to meet at a Starbucks near his office, which always made Jack have small quiet meltdowns inside. By the time they had finished talking Jim and math had them decided that selling to distributors that had relationships with retailers was the answer. They achieved product/market fit when they weren&apos;t even paying attention! <br />
  • “I looked out the window at the Ferris wheel of the Great America amusement park revolving in the distance, then I turned back to Gordon and I asked, <br /> “If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what do you think he would do?” Gordon answered without hesitation, <br /> “He would get us out of memories.” I stared at him, numb, then said, <br /> “Why shouldn’t you and I walk out the door, come back and do it ourselves?” Andy Grove <br />
  • You can “try on” ideas, and work them through as if they were your decided strategy, to see if they make sense. <br />
  • Jim Frost was the first angel who gave them money. He was a valley veteran, and had seem many companies go under as well as a few succeed. <br /> He was wise and insightful and could surely help the figure this out. <br /> They had to meet at a Starbucks near his office, which always made Jack have small quiet meltdowns inside. By the time they had finished talking Jim and math had them decided that selling to distributors that had relationships with retailers was the answer. They achieved product/market fit when they weren&apos;t even paying attention! <br />
  • Jim Frost had another piece of advice <br />
  • Now Hann and Jack were ready to focus the company on growth. And Jim had given them a little tool to help them with it.  It&apos;s called OKRs.  <br />
  • Used at google <br /> Popularized form john doer <br />
  • Used at google <br /> Popularized form john doerr <br />
  • Used at google <br /> Popularized form john doer <br />
  • Used at google <br /> Popularized form john doer <br />
  • Used at google <br /> Popularized form john doer <br />
  • Dind’t make OKRS <br />
  • Jim Frost had another piece of advice <br />
  • Tough guy but <br />
  • "We had some problems with the performance of the site""We had to deal with wrong orders and late deliveries to Los Gatos""I don&apos;t think we&apos;re marketing right""We didn&apos;t hire a second salesperson!" <br />
  • Dind’t make OK <br /> "We had some problems with the performance of the site""We had to deal with wrong orders and late deliveries to Los Gatos""I don&apos;t think we&apos;re marketing right""We didn&apos;t hire a second salesperson!" <br /> RS <br />
  • "We had some problems with the performance of the site""We had to deal with wrong orders and late deliveries to Los Gatos""I don&apos;t think we&apos;re marketing right""We didn&apos;t hire a second salesperson!" <br />

The Executioner’s Tale The Executioner’s Tale Presentation Transcript

  • THE EXECUTIONER’S TALE @cwodtke www.cwodtke.com
  • ! D THE E EXECUTIONER’S T A T TALE N A O N @cwodtke www.cwodtke.com
  • Once upon a time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.
  • When I joined Linkedin, many people said “interesting choice.” They did not know why I’d join a resume site. When I joined Myspace, they said good luck. It looked hard, but possible. When I joined Zynga they all congratulated me on landing in one of the hottest spots in the valley. I’ve learned to say “We’ll see.” But one thing I did learn…
  • Don’t get sued
  • Once upon a time there was a start-up.
  • This start-up has a vision to bring delicious artisinal loose-leaf tea to fine dining restaurants and discerning cafes. There were two founders...
  • Hanna Hanna was firstgeneration Chinese, and loved the tea she grew up with at her parents house. She despaired of getting a nice cup of green dragon well after a fine meal.
  • Jack Jack was British, and equally miserable at cafes that could poach an egg perfectly yet thought earl grey was a who and not a what. They knew there were plenty of great tea producers. So they decided they would connect great tea with fine restaurants and cafes that were snobbish about coffee but ambivalent about tea.
  • And because they went to Stanford and could do math, they managed to raise a little money to make a go at it.
  • (because no one is dumb enough to start a company with their own money, right?)
  • After a happy six months decorating and office and hiring engineers and making a very pretty website where buyers could find tea producers and order tasty tea and giving away tea at tech meet-ups and even closing a few deals they started to feel a little uneasy.
  • While they had another 18 months of runway, they wondered what was going on. They had many many little tea producers signing up, but only two buyers. A lopsided market is not a profitable market. Like good little founders, they decided to go out and sell more tea themselves, to learn more about the market!
  • One day, Hanna came back with a very big order from a distributor. This distributor sold tea to all kinds of restaurants, big and small, as well as canned good and dry goods and coffee. Jack was both happy and alarmed! He was happy to see so much money about to come into the business, yet this was not TO PLAN. A few days later, and then she did it again and again.
  • Distributors? Hell no Hanna told Jack that they were doing better connecting to distributors seeking to up-scale their offering than cafes. It was time to rethink their market focus. Jack suspected this might be a good choice. But before uprooting everything, he suggested they talk with Jim Frost.
  • Jim Jim Frost was the first angel who gave them money. He was a valley veteran, and had seem many companies go under as well as a few succeed. They had to meet at a Starbucks near his office, which always made Jack have small quiet meltdowns inside.
  • HOW TO DECIDE
  • Safety in Scenarios Move from “We have to decide” To “let’s pretend we’ve already decided”
  • “I looked out the window at the Ferris wheel of the Great America amusement park revolving in the distance, then I turned back to Gordon and I asked, “If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what do you think he would do?” Gordon answered without hesitation, “He would get us out of memories.” I stared at him, numb, then said, “Why shouldn’t you and I walk out the door, come back and do it ourselves?” Andy Grove
  • Let’s Pretend • We are a B2B company • We built a sales team • We hired a CEO
  • Jim By the time they had finished talking Jim and math had them decided that selling to distributors that had relationships with retailers was the answer. They achieved product/market fit when they weren't even paying attention!
  • Distributors!
  • But wait, there’s more!
  • OKRs Objectives and Key Results
  • OKRs Objectives Key results
  • OKRs O: Dream KR: Success criteria
  • OKRs O: Qualitative KR: Quantitative
  • OKR example Successfully launch blogging platform •10 influencers •1500 organic signups in week 1 •99% uptime
  • OKRs Time bound Cascading Hard (but not impossible)
  • OKR for company Successfully launch blogging platform •10 influencers •1500 organic signups in week 1 •99% uptime
  • OKR for engineering Successfully launch blogging platform •99.8% uptime •2 backend hires •Load speed <2sec
  • OKR for design Successfully launch blogging platform •Usable blogging tools (<5 minor errors) •NPS of 60 •Exec signoff by 10/5
  • Let’s take this back to the team!
  • A QUARTER PASSES….
  • The Team Wiffed their OKRS Credit: http://wklondon.typepad.com/
  • A PHONE RINGS….
  • I want you to meet…
  • Raphael At first he was scary….
  • Then they saw his t-shirt
  • You’re doing it WRONG
  • CREATE CADENCE
  • Commitment • Mondays are for promises • Fridays are for winners
  • Priorities this week P1 Close deal with TLM Foods P1 New Order flow P1 # solid sales canidates in for interview OKR Confidence Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Mondays each team lead shares: •Week’s Priorities ( toOrg Health get help & make Next 4 weeks - Projects commitment) Team Health: Passive reorder notifications Team struggling with direction •Near serve flow forroadmap (heads up!) New self term distributors change Metrics for distributors on tea sales •OKR confidence Hire Customer service head Distributor satisfaction Health: •Key health indicators Yellow Green
  • Priorities this week P1 Close deal with TLM Foods P1 New Order flow Spec’d P1 Commitmen 3 solid sales candidates t! in for interview Next 4 weeks - Projects Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head OKR Confidence Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Org Health Team Health: Yellow Team struggling with direction change Distributor satisfaction Health: Green
  • Priorities this week P1 Close deal with TLM Foods P1 New Order flow Spec’d P1 Commitmen 3 solid sales candidates t! in for interview Next 4 weeks - Projects Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Heads up! Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head OKR Confidence Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Org Health Team Health: Yellow Team struggling with direction change Distributor satisfaction Health: Green
  • Priorities this week P1 Close deal with TLM Foods P1 New Order flow Spec’d P1 Commitmen 3 solid sales candidates t! in for interview Next 4 weeks - Projects Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Heads up! Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head OKR Confidence Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider Discussion KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve & Support! 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Org Health Team Health: Yellow Team struggling with direction change Distributor satisfaction Health: Green
  • Priorities this week P1 Close deal with TLM Foods P1 New Order flow Spec’d P1 Commitmen 3 solid sales candidates t! in for interview Next 4 weeks - Projects Passive reorder notifications New self serve flow for distributors Heads up! Metrics for distributors on tea sales Hire Customer service head OKR Confidence Objective: Establish clear value to distributers as a quality tea provider Discussion KR: Reorders at 85% 5/10 KR: 20% of reorders self-serve & Support! 5/10 KR: Revenue of 250K 5/10 Key Risk Factors: Need new self-serve system up in first month Org Health Team Health: Yellow Team struggling with direction change Protect what matters Distributor satisfaction Health: Green
  • DEDICATIO N TO YOUR GOALS TO YOUR TEAM
  • Weekly Status Email • OKRS • Priorities 3 • Last week’s priorities • Risks & Blockers • Notes
  • Fridays are for Wins & Wine
  • Friday= Celebrations
  • Celebrations Engineering demos
  • Celebrations Engineering demos Design demos
  • Celebrations Engineering demos Design demos Sales & Bizdev shares wins
  • Celebrations Engineering demos Design demos Sales & Bizdev shares wins Beer
  • Everybody needs bragging time • Motivates team to have something to share • Makes you feel like part of something special • Show progress
  • Hanna tells team…. You didn't make your OKRs…
  • "I don't think we're marketing right" "We had some problems with the performance of the site" "We had to deal with wrong orders and late deliveries to Los Gatos" "We didn't hire a second salesperson!" So many excuses….
  • It’s OK. We’re trying again… With Monday check-ins and Friday wins
  • A QUARTER PASSES….
  • The Team hit the OKRS
  • EPIC GROWTH!
  • Series A
  • OKRS: SCIENCE AND GUT
  • WHAT ELSE CAN BENEFIT FROM OKRS?
  • MY LIFE
  • OBJECTIVE: BE FINANCIALLY STABLE WHILE PRESERVING HEALTH AND DOING WORK I LIKE TO DO.
  • KR: EARN 30K OVER 3 MONTHS DOING WORK I’D DO EVEN IF I WASN’T PAID
  • KR: HAVE A MANAGEABLE BUDGET TO PREDICT EXPANSES
  • KR: ZERO ACID REFLUX, ZERO BACK PAIN
  • Find someone to keep you honest
  • Dreams are great Living them is better
  • Thanks! Jake, Yizhou, Harry and IxD14 attendees!
  • Thank You Please contact me if you need help setting up this system at your company. @cwodtke www.eleganthack.com