Which one are you—fragile, Phoenix or Hydra?

Being an entrepreneur and all that requires one to take great deal of hits in its head, stomach and elsewhere—if I use k1 wording. In my 5 year entrepreneurship I saw people come and go. They couldn’t or wouldn’t handle the startup presshure—but every single one of them left in different personal condition.

I could classify them in three main categories:

  1. fragile
  2. robust—just like Phoenix
  3. indestructable—just like Hydra


These folks are like a vase made from glass. They are negatively affected by volatility. When something bad happens they get broken. They are left worse off then when they started. They are definitely NOT the type of person you should hire on your startup.

Robust (Phoenix)

These folks aren’t negatively impacted by volatility; they’re resilient! Just like mythological bird, the Phoenix. If the Phoenix is killed, it rises again from the ashes. It is not harmed by a negative event—but it isn’t made any better, either.

Indestructible (Hydra)

These folks are positively affected by volatility. When something bad happens, they actually grow stronger! Just like mythological creature Hydra! When you cut off one of Hydra’s heads, two more heads spring up to replace it. By hurting it, you are actually increasing its power. This is the folk you want in your startup!

In Hydra example I don’t imply you should hurt anybody by purpose—like ever! Bad events are typical in startup environment when one person does few things.

So try to recognize Hydra(s)—or any other type for that matter— on your next future employees interview.

He’s got the looks, he’s great at playing the part

Here is one great advice for talent as well as job seekers from movie (and book) Moneyball:

He passes the eye candy test. He’s got the looks, he’s great at playing the part.

Spectacular startup success often becomes a game about scouting and recruiting. A common mistake entrepreneurs make is recruiting team members early on simply becausethey look the part. In the long run, it doesn’t matter if on paper, someone’s perfect. You want people that can actually do the job. That VP of Sales candidate that has 15 years of experience at Oracle? Likely not worth it for you. They’ll look the part, but they may not be able to deliver the goods. And, like Johnny Damon, she’s going to be expensive.

Get good at seeing talent where others don’t.