Auren Hoffman (00:00):
Welcome to World of DaaS, a show for data enthusiasts. I'm your host, Auren Hoffman, CEO of SafeGraph. For more conversations, videos, and transcripts visit safegraph.com/podcast. Hello data nerds. My guest today is Tod Sacerdoti. Tod is the CEO of Pipedream. He's the former CEO of BrightRoll, and he's also a general partner of Flex Capital. Tod, welcome to World of DaaS .
Tod Sacerdoti (00:31):
Thanks for having me.
Auren Hoffman (00:32):
Awesome. Now we're going to try something a little different here than we normally do in World of DaaS, in that we're actually going to dive into a specific topic. And today we're going to dive to founder compensation. I know it's something that you've been really interested in a while. I've been interested in a while. We've been interested together as a team for a long time. So we can talk a bit about it. I'd be interested in your thoughts about how, obviously there's lots of different ways people thought about compensating founders, but what are some non-obvious things that people aren't thinking about?
Tod Sacerdoti (01:05):
I think the most fundamental thing that people aren't thinking about is the fact that I think founders comp has been almost universally mismanaged over the last like 10 to 20 years. There's very few companies that I see where if you look over the arc of the company that people involved would say founders comp was handled well. And I think that it has these two underlying issues, which is the reason why it's almost universally mismanaged, is on one hand, people feel like founders and CEOs are overcompensated in general. So there's this kind of bias towards either not addressing not talking about, or just hiding under the rug issue. That's the one major issue.
Tod Sacerdoti (01:48):
And I think that the second major issue is that not all startups work out. And so as a result, you have situations where people have dedicated five, 10 years of their lives and gave 100% effort and did ever everything right. And were bearing an unnecessary cost as a result of that process, in many cases being under compensated. So to me, those are like the two fundamental issues that are often not discussed.
Auren Hoffman (02:15):
There's a cash side of it, which is what you get to keep, whether the company works out or not. And then there's a stock side, which aligns some interests with the other investors that only has value if the company has value in the end.
Tod Sacerdoti (02:33):
Auren Hoffman (02:33):
Okay. Interesting. Now, one of the things that, we put out a piece on go forward compensation. There's a sense where once the initial founder grant is vested, and depends on the founder, it could be four or five years that usually the initial founder grant is vested. The go forward comp of a founder or CEO is often significantly less than the go forward comp of a replacement CEO. How do you think boards should be actually looking at that differential between the two?
Tod Sacerdoti (03:11):
When companies work out great upon a retrospective, it's hard to argue that the CEO is undercompensated at this trigger point where they're fully vested on their founder's equity and their packages being determined later. I think in many cases you could argue that they were, but I don't think you're going to get a lot of engagement from folks with these sort of high outcome situations.
Auren Hoffman (03:34):
The Amazons of the world, or something like that.
Tod Sacerdoti (03:37):
Correct. So I think it's actually much more interesting in the case where it's a moderate success or not a success. And in those situations, when we look back at it, and I think there's the toggle decision of, do I keep the existing founder CEO here or do I hire somebody new? And of course, when you look at hiring somebody new, they'll always be compensated more because they don't have that kind of founder's equity going in. I would actually make the argument that the founder in most cases should actually be paid significantly more than the person brought in because they're probably better for the company. They have multiple years of contacts, they have all the personal relationships. And I think there's a lot of examples that would show that outcomes are better with founder CEOs in that seat.
Tod Sacerdoti (04:17):
But I think when you boil it all down to the real fundamental questions like, what is the problem that you're trying to solve? So if you're trying to be a mercenary founder CEO, and you're trying to solve the problem of absolute maximum comp, then I think you start with that exact discussion. A new person would get paid more and then potentially I'm more valuable I should get paid more than them.
Tod Sacerdoti (04:40):
In my own situation, when I was running BrightRoll, I thought about there's this balance between being the mercenary CEO and the servant CEO. My compensation is going to be highly visible inside the company. The CFO's going to know it. The controller's going to know it, the head of HR, many other HR employees are going to know it. So if the problem you're trying to solve is like, be compensated enough to do your job and not be stressed about working for a startup, but you want to set the tone and the culture of we're aligned with the outcome that's later on. Then I think you want to be really sensitive to presenting this external comp package that a new CEO would get an arguing for it. So again, I just go back to what is the problem you're trying to solve? And how do you best solve that for your Company?
Auren Hoffman (05:25):
I think most people don't know the different ways that founders may sacrifice or the different ways that they try to do things that are for what's in the best interests of the company. Usually, even in a good outcome, so when you solve BrightRoll was a really good outcome, when I sold LiveRamp is really good outcome. Usually even in those cases, the founder CEOs will take a bunch of their stock that has already vested and then they'll revest it for some period of time, I think in your case, it was three years, in my case, it was two years, where you revest this already vested stock. And that's a generally really common thing for our founders to do. Again, in some ways you don't have to do it, but founders are often sacrificing their compensation for the good of the overall outcome.
Tod Sacerdoti (06:18):
Yeah. In those situations it's always a little hard to determine if you had not done it the deal might not have happened. So it's like, I'm not sure it's in the good graces of the founder that it's happening, it's like a mathematical calculation, what's the best thing for the individual. What's the best thing for the company. What's the best thing for all the employees. And you do the math.
Auren Hoffman (06:40):
Let's say the founder left the company three months before, and they had a different CEO or something. And then they sold the company. Then the founder wouldn't have to revest or, usually almost none of the other employees have to revest, certainly none of the investors or shareholders have to. So they have this kind of unique situation that other people who also might be very important parts of the company don't have.
Tod Sacerdoti (07:08):
Yeah. I think that's all true. And those are all negotiated. I mean, sometimes acquirers do want other people to vest, and sometimes that's a negotiation. But again, I think the right philosophy is to approach all of these decisions generally with like, what's the best outcome for the company first. There are chances or opportunities where I think you do need to consider the actual individuals best interest as the founder CEO, but it's such a unique seat that has so much impact on the rest of the company that I'm just very concerned, if somebody starts with a position of like, what's best for me, I'm approaching this as a mercenary. And the question is, do other people want to work in that environment anyways?
Auren Hoffman (07:50):
Yeah. And there are a few high profile cases of certain companies where it does seem like the founder CEO is much more of a mercenary, or much more are trying to self deal and not being more of a servant CEO. I think probably the vast majority of cases, the founders, the servant CEO, but there are some high profile cases where they're not, and that obviously clouds the way we look at these things.
Tod Sacerdoti (08:14):
Yeah. I mean, one of my high level philosophies on CEO comp is it's almost like the Warren Buffet inheritance quote, where I think the perfect comp for CEO is enough comp so that they feel like they can do anything with the company, like fulfill its greatest potential, but they don't feel like they're so well compensated that they can do nothing or the outcome of the company is not the most important metric.
Tod Sacerdoti (08:39):
And that's hard balance. It does depend on the existing situation of the CEO. Do they have any money at all? Or are they starting a family? What's the operating cost of their lives? But that balance of, because there are a lot of suboptimal outcomes that I think have occurred because either the board or the CEO themselves, founder CEO themselves thought that the right thing to do was massively undercompensate the founder. And as a result, the founder sells a company too early or doesn't aggressively pursue the biggest opportunities in front of them. So it's like that right balance can actually unlock much bigger opportunities for the company. So I think in the end, it's actually in the best interest of all involved to solve this problem and not just sweep it under the rug.
Auren Hoffman (09:29):
It's a weird thing, because the founder CEO is the only employee with very little leverage. They are not going to leave the company. It would be really bad. See, and everyone knows it. And so usually the way employees have leverage and in some sort, is there is some implicit threat [inaudible 00:09:48] when you're when you're compensating somebody that they can go somewhere else. And so you're constantly making sure you're trying to give them a high enough compensation where if they're going to go somewhere else, they were going to go because of non-comp reasons. And so you're always making sure that your best employees are not going to go somewhere else, whereas with the founder CEO, the board already knows they're not going anywhere. And so it's a harder leverage situation for them when they're thinking about it.
Tod Sacerdoti (10:20):
I feel actually that founder CEOs might have more leverage than they generally realize. And, of course, I agree that in most cases they won't leave, but the risk to the company if they leave is so great that if you are ever forced to play that card or bring that leverage to bear, I do think you have tremendous leverage, but I would-
Auren Hoffman (10:40):
But that depends, of course, if your whole net worth is tied up in your own stock, unless you're completely irrational person, you're probably not going to tank your own stock.
Tod Sacerdoti (10:47):
Yeah. But my point is that I would almost never advise somebody to ever tap into that leverage. And I think that the better leverage is to have that conversation and say, listen, I spend 10% to 20% of my time concerned that I'm not going to have enough money to send my kid to college, or it's creating problems within my household. And this is something that's on my mind all the time. It's actually creating, I've seen it in some cases it's the source of mental health challenges of founders and CEO. It's like the right leverage is I am not doing my best work. And this company is not performing as well as it could, because of this issue. So to me, again, that's not like in the mercenary category, that's in the greater good category. It's like, let's get this issue off the table so that we're all focused on making this company successful.
Tod Sacerdoti (11:39):
And I think that if you're able to have that kind of honest dialogue with your board, and there's some vulnerability there, there's some transparency there. I do think in most cases you'll come to a better place than trying to use some other form of leverage like, I'm going to be passive aggressive, or I'm not going to share the board materials early enough. All these other behaviors that emerge that are completely destructive to culture is just to address the issue head on and try to solve it.
Auren Hoffman (12:10):
If you're advising a CEO about how they interact with their board, how would you advise them to bring it up in a tactful way?
Tod Sacerdoti (12:20):
So, I guess my first piece of advice is, hopefully, on your board, these are professional investors. They're grownups, they're capable of having a tough conversation about money. Now, most people are not capable of having tough conversations about money. And I would say probably many board members are not as good as they think they are, but I think you have to approach it from the beginning like, this is a topic that is important, that needs to be discussed, that we need to be able to have an unemotional fact-based conversation about, and start there.
Tod Sacerdoti (12:52):
Now, if things go off the rails and you can't have that kind of conversation, then it's different advice. But I think start with the facts. And the truth is if any CEO went to their board and said, I want you to do an independent review of my compensation versus other founder CEOs, that will always end up with a better package for the founder CEO. So it's almost like you can always defer to the fact, which is like some third party process. But again, I don't go there or recommend going there in the beginning. I start out with, here's my situation, here's my needs. This is where I feel I'm being compensated versus where I should be compensated. And having that conversation, by the way, you'll learn so much about how your performance's being viewed, what the incentives are of people. You'll learn so much by having that open, vulnerable dialogue first. And then I think other tactics emerge based on the response that you get.
Auren Hoffman (13:46):
We've been on some boards together. And when I was on the BrightRoll board, which is company you ran, I felt like my number one value to the board was trying to convince them to pay you more. And is there a way of understanding there's maybe an independent or more board member that may have a different thing and I could talk to them when we went into close session in a more board member to board member way, or is there some other kind of tactics you think one can use to think it through, or have an intermediary or et cetera?
Tod Sacerdoti (14:19):
I think that the reality is that the venture capitalists on the board are often the wrong person to be driving this conversation. They really do have some conflicting incentives. Now you could argue in aggregate the greater good is a greater equity outcome for everyone, but they're definitely situations where it feels like equity is going from the company to the founder, and the VCs, in some cases, feel like that's going from their pocket to a founder's pocket. An independent board member, I think is much more naturally biased towards being rational and fair on this and weighing that balance of what's enough, but not too much. And so I think if anything, if you could have an independent board member, have those conversations front with them, have them be your, I don't want to say your champion, because it's not about optimizing for a founder-
Auren Hoffman (15:09):
Yeah. Its doing what's best for the company.
Tod Sacerdoti (15:10):
Yeah. Play the role of independence. And also I think they have a much more desire to address the issue head on right now. I see a lot of situations where this gets brought up in a doesn't need to be addressed immediately way. And I think the investors in general, if they feel like it doesn't need to be solved immediately, the easiest answer is just take it down the road, we'll solve it at the next board meeting or the next year. And if this is a real issue, I think an independent board member can be that catalyst. This is important, needs to be addressed now, let's have that conversation.
Tod Sacerdoti (15:43):
One issue that concerns me, and again, I always go to this, a lot of this is about behavior to me, it's not always about the math. And so the behavior that compensation drives is always a topic that I think is like the subtopic, which is as important. And I think one of the biggest differences of Silicon Valley startups and software start ups today versus even, say five or 10 years ago, is that a lot of early employees, founders included, are essentially being compensated for potential versus performance. And you can make this argument as true, all the way from professional sports, all the way down to a new college grad starting a software company in Silicon Valley, which is that people... Five, 10 years ago, no one would ever sell secondary in a series A financing. It just would never happen.
Auren Hoffman (16:33):
Yeah. Even in the series B or C often.
Tod Sacerdoti (16:35):
Yeah. The board would never be supportive of it. It would frankly be considered like a negative signal for the company. And what's happened now is there's so much capital chasing these software companies that many early employees and founders have the opportunity to actually sell shares in series A and series B financing, which is frankly compensating them before the company has actually delivered on the metrics. And so to me, this isn't a criticism of the individuals. It's a question of behavior. If you are getting significant economic benefit before you've built something of real value, my question is always like, well, what behavior is that going to create? When things come easy, I just think, frankly, people aren't going to work as hard as they would've in a scenario where that wasn't available to them.
Auren Hoffman (17:24):
I would say in LiveRamp, I probably sold the company too early. I probably definitely sold the company too early. And if I had done a secondary, I probably wouldn't have sold the company and therefore could have realized more potential for the company long term. But because I had an opportunity to take off the table and take care of my family and not have to worry about different things for my family, ended up selling the company. And I can imagine a lot of these founders are going through something similar, where they could almost be more aligned with the VCs and go for the bigger outcome if they were able to take, and maybe not just the founders, but also some of the early employees as well, able to take some small percentage of their equity off the table.
Tod Sacerdoti (18:09):
Yeah. I mean, I sort of go back to my comment about this balance of enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing. Absolutely, there are dozens of cases where I've seen founders and founding teams sell some equity and then it puts them in the path of optimizing for the greatest economic outcome for all involved. And that's a great place to be. My own story transparently is I sold secondary in my company, BrightRoll, at around roughly a $75 million valuation. And that was because I had just had a child and I wanted to make sure that no matter what happens for the company, I'm not going to lose the place that I live, and I'm going to be able to send my kids to college.
Tod Sacerdoti (18:48):
And frankly, it felt like what I had built over the first five years was, I had received something so that I could really just focus on the bigger outcome for the next five years. And I'm 100% in support of that. And I've seen that many, many times. Again, but I want to give the spectrum for your listeners, which is, there are companies that founders are selling secondary in this series A of their company before the product is even launched.
Auren Hoffman (19:12):
Well, we are in kind of a crazy time right now. Yeah.
Tod Sacerdoti (19:15):
So that feels like we're too far on the other side of the spectrum. Again, I'm not judge and jury, but I just feel there's this balance of enough but not too much. And every company and individual is different, but my gut is series A secondary pre-launch is too much too early and will only have negative behavioral impacts. But not doing anything, and having a entrepreneur, maybe like the story you shared, where you feel like you sold too early because you hadn't received some economics from the business. That's also a fail. So one more in the middle.
Auren Hoffman (19:49):
No, let's talk about a weird case scenario, which is these second time founders, they had a good outcome their first time. They're founding a company second time. You and I are literally going through this right now, you with Pipedream, me with SafeGraph. We had a great, or at least a good outcome the first time. We can take care of our family. We actually took a few million and we're the initial investors in our own new company. A lot of the second time founders, I think both you and I are taking a zero salary here. A $0 salary. How should these, and again, these are rare cases, but how should they be thinking about these businesses, because they're investing in their businesses, they'll tend to have, let's say greater ownership than a first time founder. They also don't need the money in terms of cash, so there's no reason for them to take a salary or to reward them with some sort of salary or bonus structure or something. So how should they be thinking about things?
Tod Sacerdoti (20:50):
Yeah. I just share how I thought about things as probably the advice I would give others, which is I started the process with what is the structure that has the highest likelihood of creating a great outcome. And so part of the reason why I invested in the company when we launched the company was I didn't want any unnecessary external pressure or timeline on what we were building. I wanted to give myself and the team enough breathing room to make sure that we were working on the right thing and addressing the problem in the right way. And I would say the same thing about CEO founder salaried comp for multiple time founders. I think more money in the bank for the company is a net positive for the company's ability to be successful. So it's an absolute no-brainer decision.
Tod Sacerdoti (21:41):
Now I will mention that one of the perverse dynamics that this creates is, if you have founders CEOs who are self-funding businesses, who are also determining the comp structure for the org. You end up with a situation where you can, again, tilt that pendulum too far. I think you can create structures that are far too CEO founder friendly, and you create an environment where people wouldn't want to work there and they don't feel like there's fairness and equity.
Tod Sacerdoti (22:08):
And so in my own process, I found a venture capitalist thought partner, who I was like, "You're not investing in this round, but I want you to play that role as if you are a VC investing in this role." And I literally bounced all my structure and ideas often, because I knew at some point we were going to go out to VC, and I didn't want to have some structure that when I then later presented it, someone looks like, "Wow, there's a lot of weirdness and self dealing and favorable structures here." Now, in my story, long story short, I ended up raising money from that individual later, because it was someone I had worked with. But I really benefited from having that counterpoint in the room, even if they weren't economically involved at the formation.
Auren Hoffman (22:50):
Well, let's say we're in this weird case where we've got a founder CEO. They've been in the business for a while. Maybe let's say post five years, they've been in the business for a while. They want to be motivated to go forward. Is there some sort of way with deferred compensation or out of the money options or some other type of thing where the founder could be more aligned with the eventual outcome of the company? So it's still a way of giving them extra carrots. They like to know that they're working for something, giving them extra carrots, but align them more. And Elon Musk is famous for this at Tesla. So he said, okay, if the valuation reached these different plateaus, then he'll get these big compensation packages, but only if it reaches those plateaus. Is there some sort of way of getting creative to align all the interests?
Tod Sacerdoti (23:47):
I think there's lots of ways to align those interests. And I think Elon should get a lot of credit for the most high profile example of this. But most boards are willing to pay for performance and pay significant amounts for performance. And so creating any structure where either ownership or compensation increases when you have significant milestones of performance is a much easier negotiation and conversation I think to have for most CEO founders and most boards.
Tod Sacerdoti (24:21):
So any of those structures I think is favorable for alignment of incentives, everyone's focused on the biggest outcome possible. They take out any of the odd discussions around paying for potential or maybe over the existing versus a hired gun CEO, takes those issues off the table. And I think if you're in the seat of the founder CEO and you're confident in your business. The actual economic outcomes will be far greater, which is exactly why Elon's of the world are choosing that package, because when you do outperform you'll just never be able to negotiate any other package that aggressive, unless it was tied to some outperformance. So I truly think it is a win-win win. The devil's advocate is like, well, I don't even know it's [inaudible 00:25:09]. But there's going to be some conversations when some of these performance packages kick in, where people are astounded by the amount of economics.
Auren Hoffman (25:16):
Well, certainly there has been like in the Tesla use case, where at the time, maybe people are, oh, that's never going to happen because there was such a high valuation to get the hurdle to kick in. But then I think when it kicked in, I think there were people who were concerned, which makes sense. We're talking about high class problem in general, so we should take a step back. It's not like these founders are people who are generally taking advantage of. A lot of these founders are multimillionaires sometimes even richer than that. This is a very, very high class problem. And we're really trying to address things really around the margins on this.
Tod Sacerdoti (25:55):
Yeah. I mean, one comment I make though, is that it is a high class problem when it works. And everyone likes to talk about the cases when it works, but on a percentage basis, I would make the argument, the majority of founder CEO comp issues are not in cases where the company works. The majority of startups fail, the majority of founders CEOs are in companies that fail. And so the most punitive bad outcomes occur when startups fail, and that's why in general people gloss over this as a problem, because they point to the success outcomes and say, those people are well compensated or overcompensated. We shouldn't even talk about this. But actually I'm more concerned about the other cases. The people who really need to be focused on this issue, of course, you don't know it when you're in it, but are the people who are not going to have the great outcome. And that's where it's the most painful.
Auren Hoffman (26:47):
There is a scenario where there's a startup completely fails, like a zero X return or something like that. A lot of startups are, I'd say in the two X return, it didn't fail, it made some money for the investors. Even there, you could see the founder may come out unaligned or they may felt like they worked too hard for it. Or they may have had to done like certain sacrifices or other types of things as well.
Tod Sacerdoti (27:17):
You could make the simple math, which is, was the majority of your compensation as a founder CEO your salary or your equity?
Auren Hoffman (27:24):
Yeah. It's almost always the equity. Yeah.
Tod Sacerdoti (27:26):
On the success outcomes. But I would guess on the sub two X outcomes, there's more of a blend. And there's going to be some tipping point where salary became much more significant. And I would argue in almost 100% of those situations that the salary comp decision made for CEO is something that the individual wishes they could have revisited or done differently. And those are the ones that are on a percentage basis probably the greatest.
Auren Hoffman (27:52):
A non founder CEO that got hired into the job would have had a market rate for that competition. Interesting. This has been super interesting. Are there any other things that you think that people aren't addressing on things like compensation?
Tod Sacerdoti (28:08):
One of my mantras these days is, it's just about mental health of people in very, very high stress jobs in general. And I know multiple people that were unable to do their job at their full because they had compensation related challenges in their household. And the general situation is, there's an individual who starts a company, who I think frankly does everything right. They align their compensation with the greater good of the company. So they underpay themselves. And instead of the company taking two years like they thought, maybe they're seven or eight years in, and they've never really addressed their personal situation. And it feels to them like they're always a quarter or it's six months or a year from something great happening for the company. And they basically create this scenario where they've undercompensated for themselves for a long time. And it starts to add significant stress to their lives and their family. And maybe they start having kids and other things start happening.
Tod Sacerdoti (29:07):
And those situations to me, seemed like a six month to one year problem that ended up being like a five to 10 year problem, and are unaddressed, are actually the situations I think are most critical for these conversations to sort of be surfaced and to be had. And unfortunately, I think it is that individual's role and responsibility to bring it up because I do not believe other people will bring it up. It's not going to come from the board because these individuals are generally superstars at hiding the fact that they're under massive stress. I don't know how to address that beyond saying that I believe there is a sort of borderline crisis happening in the non success cases that is unaddressed in Silicon Valley.
Auren Hoffman (29:52):
And these things take a long time. And during that time people's life situation change. If you think of both BrightRoll and LiveRamp, we were doing this, for those who are listening, we were kind of doing this together at the exact same time. We started the companies in 2006, we both sold the companies in 2014, eight years later. So we're going through the journey at almost exactly the same time. During that time, we both had two kids during that time. And so, we went from zero kids to two kids, and we had a lot of different situations change, and you can imagine, I mean, eight years is a very long time, and especially if you're starting a company in your 20s and early 30s or something like that. It's a pretty big percentage of your adult life where you're in this company. And sometimes it can be lot longer than eight. So you can see these things change, and you're right. So even the issues that may have not been affecting you in year two or year three by year 7, 8, 9 could actually be coming more into the forefront.
Tod Sacerdoti (30:52):
Absolutely. I mean, it is not uncommon. In fact, it's probably the norm for these things to take much longer than you expect. And I would say most CEO founders are not good at projecting what their life will be like in 10 years. A lot of people are getting married. They have kids. Their parents are aging. They now own house in some area where the real estate market has changed dramatically in 10 years. A lot can change in a decade. And so it just makes the stress on that individual. And again, I think the founding team, in many cases all of them, just significantly [inaudible 00:31:29] greater over that period of time.
Auren Hoffman (31:30):
Okay. This has been awesome. Before we leave, I just got two personal questions for you. So the first one is, you're one of the best people I know at understanding the future of your family and understanding the future of your kid and stuff. What advice would you give to the rest of us, mortals, about how to do that?
Tod Sacerdoti (31:48):
My number one piece of advice is probably marry a psychologist. So that has greatly impacted my ability to think about my kids and my family over time. That's my number one piece of advice.
Auren Hoffman (32:02):
Yeah. Okay. All right. Well, that's fair. Okay. And Rebecca is an amazing wife, an amazing partner. All right. Last question we ask all of our guests, if you could go back in time and give advice to your younger self, Tod, who's 22, what advice would you give yourself?
Tod Sacerdoti (32:19):
I'd say my number one piece of advice would be that the imposter syndrome of feeling that you're not good enough is not a requirement in order to be productive and be successful. It has been a major driver in my life and it was when I was younger, but as I've aged, I think I've realized that it was not required. I probably fed off it at times, but I think there is this belief that if it ever went away that everything would fall apart. And I think that's just, frankly, not true. So there's a bit of psychology there, but I think you are good enough. But still be hungry. Is what I would tell myself.
Auren Hoffman (33:01):
There is a little bit of imposter syndrome for people that don't have an imposter syndrome.
Tod Sacerdoti (33:06):
I definitely have. I've always had imposter syndrome, so.
Auren Hoffman (33:10):
You're a very confident person. And you believe in yourself and cetera. You still feel like you're out of your depth. Its like you're a great CEO, you're accomplished CEO.
Tod Sacerdoti (33:20):
For me personally, fear of failure and feeling you're not good enough has always driven, or I had thought was always the driver of my motivation. And I think people with imposter syndrome are generally very good at hiding it.
Auren Hoffman (33:34):
All right. Awesome. This has been really great. Thank you, Tod. For those who are listening, I followed Tod on Twitter. He's T-O-D, at T-O-D, which is one of the best handles in history to get three letter handle. So I highly recommend that you do that. Tod, thank you for being with us on world of DaaS.
Tod Sacerdoti (33:53):
Thanks for having me.
Auren Hoffman (33:55):
Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this show, consider reading this podcast and leaving a review. For more world of DaaS, and Daas is D-A-A-S, you can subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcast or anywhere you get your podcast. And also check out YouTube for videos. You can find me at Twitter at @Auren, that's A-U-R-E-N, Auren, and we'd love to hear from you.
Tod Sacerdoti is Founder and CEO at Pipedream, a platform that lets developers connect APIs remarkably fast. Tod and Auren are both serial founder CEOs who dive deep into how go-forward compensation for founder CEOs is way LESS than that of a replacement CEO. They explore ways to solve this problem and tactics founders can employ to restructure their compensation.
Ann Fudge is the former Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands and has served on many boards. She serves on the boards of GE, Novartis, Northrop Grumman, Unilever, & Infosys. Auren and Ann dive into what makes a good Board of Directors, how companies can make board meetings more efficient and effective, and how to have tough conversations with leadership teams.
Spotting talent is really hard. Identifying A-players can feel impossible. Peter Thiel has one of the best interview questions for identifying talent, “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” But Daniel Gross disagrees. Daniel believes easygoing questions like “What movies do you like to watch?” elicit more telling responses.
Daniel Gross is the CEO of Pioneer, a reimagined version of the startup accelerator focused on identifying, motivating, and enabling the next wave of founders. Daniel previously founded Cue, which was acquired by Apple, and was a partner at Y Combinator. Daniel co-authored with Tyler Cowen the soon-to-be-released book, Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World. Simply put, Daniel is an expert on spotting talent.
Auren and Daniel dive into Daniel’s favorite interview questions, how to distinguish between good and great employees, what makes a 10xer, and how to measure productivity. They also explore why the strongest leaders are energetic, enthusiastic, and funny.
Henry Schuck, CEO of ZoomInfo (NASDAQ: ZI), talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. ZoomInfo is a $17 billion market cap B2B data company and one of the only billion dollar data companies that have been created in the last 20 years. Auren and Henry cover ZoomInfo’s origination, how it differentiated itself in an already crowded market, best practices on building a contributory network, ZoomInfo's unique acquisition strategy, and more.