3 questions every founder should ask every 6 months



Editor’s Notice: Every week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and the previous COO of eBay, will provide candid, sensible, and generally shocking recommendation to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a query, write to Webb at [email protected].

Q. I’m beginning an organization and I do know we can have a robust tradition at first, however how do I be sure that it doesn’t change as we develop?

Aspiring founder


Pricey Founder,

I respect the will to construct one thing in line with a set imaginative and prescient and believing in it so strongly that you simply by no means need it to vary.

However the chance is excessive that whereas a few of the core issues will stick with you ceaselessly, others will—and should—evolve. The way you handle your organization when it has three individuals is totally different from how you’ll handle it when you may have 5,000 workers and outposts everywhere in the world.

Once I began at eBay there have been 30 engineers. Typically they didn’t like how issues have been executed when the corporate turned larger. “We have to return to the way it was after we have been three engineers,” they’d say. “Effectively, you wouldn’t just like the inventory value as a lot,” I replied. Additional, I knew that if issues went proper, we have been going to be 1000’s of engineers. How then might we function to really feel like there have been solely three? And why should we?

At this essential level of progress, we needed to determine the best way to keep true to our core values whereas being open to altering a few of our practices. We by no means misplaced the main focus that we have been a market and that making our sellers profitable was the number-one precedence—however we did change processes. For instance, I couldn’t make every remaining determination on new options or every funds line merchandise as we scaled.

Corporations should examine in every six months with the query: Will we nonetheless imagine on this? What used to work received’t all the time work, so that you should be prepared to vary. It’s important to ask your self what do you are taking with you and what do you allow as you develop. How do you make modifications now that you’re 2,000 individuals as an alternative of 30?


It’s necessary to acknowledge that it’s not both/or, however that there’s a wholly new option to go. I’ve discovered the next train to be very useful in figuring out a plan that meets your present state of affairs and lets you develop whereas additionally enabling you to keep up the values which might be most necessary to you.

This can be a easy three-question train. Every six months, ask your self the next:

What should we START doing?

What should we STOP doing?

What should we CONTINUE doing?

It’s not staying the identical however relatively elasticity that fuels a robust tradition—one that’s stable sufficient to offer a robust basis but versatile sufficient to mean you can evolve and attain new heights.