Takeaways from eShares’ values and execution strategy

I recently read eShares CEO Henry Ward‘s Medium post about eShares’ values and execution strategy. eShares provides cap table management software for seed through late stage private companies.

The post links to a slide deck which Henry uses as part of a presentation that he gives to eShares employees once a month. The post covers many of the key points in the slide deck in greater detail, but I’d also recommend going through the slides. Although you may not agree with each of Henry’s recommendations, there’s likely to be at least a few that you can apply at your startup.

After reading the post and reviewing the presentation, here were my 3 key takeaways:

  1. Manage your company like a sports team: This includes showing up on time each day, practicing to get better, and focusing on positions rather than titles.
  2. Create leverage: Leverage is maximizing impact for a given effort. Don’t confuse it with efficiency which is minimizing effort for a given impact. Your binding constraint is how much effort (resources like time and money) you can put in, not how much impact you can produce, so think in terms of creating leverage.
  3. Don’t pay top of market salaries: The best people also value other forms of financial compensation (bonuses, shares, options) and non-financial compensation (learning, being challenged, their colleagues, …). If you offer top of market salaries, you’re likely to attract the mercenaries that optimize for short-term financial outcomes rather than the missionaries that optimize for long-term financial and non-financial outcomes. eShares seeks to pay each of its employees the 75th percentile of market salaries for that person.