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A few good reminders from former president & partner of MySpace: what went right & what went wrong?

Jason Hirschhorn, Media and technology entrepreneur:

For obvious reasons I won’t speak about MySpace and I think it would be wrong for me to discuss publicly. My former partner, Mike Jones is CEO and is the senior voice for the company. I think MySpace made some very bold and important decisions with their redesign. Something I am very proud of and It’s still new and evolving. The site still has a huge amount of traffic and my hopes are for it to lead in a new category and continue to innovate.But here are some things I always think about when creating or leading:

    • A clear and concise mission and vision for your company…
    • Make sure your employees know your mission and vision, don’t assume they do and even if they do today reiterate it constantly…
    • Make everyone accountable… I cannot stress this enough…
    • Don’t ever believe your own hype. A fair amount of ego is important for anyone to succeed in that you need to believe you can. But waking up early every morning and feeling like you are in 3rd place even if you are in 1st is a good way to start the day, work hard and stay late to continue to win… Ego + Insecurity = good combo. Never take a victory lap, that’s when the enemy forces raid the city…
    • Are you stocked with talent? Do you have people that have skills, believe, work hard and want to win? People are THE asset.
    • At scale, you cannot do it yourself. If you think you can you’re going to fail. Leadership means trusting and delegating…
  • If you hire sycophants you are going to get bad advice and drift off-course. Surround yourself with honest and opinionated staff that also know how to execute on a decision once it’s been made…
  • Do not react to every little new new thing that comes down the road, being on top requires focus…
  • A certain degree of freedom or latitude for your staff. Talent doesn’t like cages but at the same time you have goals… let them be creative on executing for you but also in adding their views and ideas to the pot…
  • Really great and creative engineers. They are not robots, they are artists who use code as their palette…
  • In an engineering focused organization the importance of user experience and interface can get thrown out the door. Don’t let it, it’s equally important and must be respected. If you have the best code and functionality in the world with a horrible interface, save a seat for failure at dinner…
  • Data, data, data. It’s a gift from on high. Mine it, analyze it, infer from it and act on it. It’s gold.
  • Listen to your audience but don’t do everything they say. That’s not how innovation works. They don’t always know what they want…
  • Set expectations for quality within your organization so that it becomes part of the fabric
  • Think about monetization from up high. It can effect experience and thus site growth. Nothing wrong with making money, this business isn’t UNICEF. But it should be well thought out. You need to know what you are and what you want to be before you go full throttle. It can lead down a maze…
  • Don’t let issues fester get them out before they grow malignant…
  • Be endlessly curious inside and outside of your own organization. People, products, trends.
  • Be in the office the majority of the time, that is where it’s happening

As many of you know I could go on for a long time…

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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