Founder Stories: Serial Entrepreneur Steven Kirsch On Building A Remote Engineering Team

We spend a lot of time on Founder Stories talking about hiring and culture largely because there is no secret sauce or fail-proof way that guarantees success. My guest this week is a serial entrepreneur who attributes the success of his current company, OneID, to creating a culture that attracts the best hires.

Steven Kirsch, whose past startup successes include Mouse Systems, FrameMaker and Infoseek, says that “people are very hard to change” and admits that he has made many of the same mistakes at all of the companies he has led over the years. This is why, according to Kirsch, hiring the right people who have complementary skills is important.

In our discussion, Kirsch also talks about how he learned that recruiting top talent who look at the world in new and interesting ways is crucial. He explains how early in his career he tended to under hire, opting instead to bring people up with the company. But in recent years he has looked to companies like Tesla and Google to learn that the best employees build the best products. This is why for OneID, Kirsch hired an engineering team in Austin. Watch to hear his advice on creating culture at a company that is growing in two separate locations.

Editor’s Note: Michael Abbott is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, previously Twitter’s VP of Engineering, and a founder himself. Mike also writes a blog called uncapitalized. You can follow him on Twitter @mabb0tt.