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Thank you for your post, Steve, I have got a number of questions:

You’ll learn an insane amount about building a startup from me;
You’ll get to see how to raise seed, A and B from me;
You’ll learn about culture, hiring and team building;
You’ll get exposure to world class VCs — I’ll introduce you;

How should an engineer learn about building a startup while writing code? Are you taking every engineer through the entire investments documents and involve them into all negotiations with investors?
Are you introducing every A grade developer to VCs?

If we exit, you’ll have your own cash in your pocket to start.

You said you try to sign him for 6 months, there is no way for an exit within this period, right?

The key to implementing this principle that you have to come to terms with the fact that you won’t be keeping them forever.

While I agree that nobody can be kept forever and also I agree that A-grade people do everything better. Loosing people in 6 month will result in a huge regression for the company. The smarter a person is, the more responsibilities and knowledge he/she will build up while working. When this person leaves, a big whole is created. Any other smart person will need months to come to the level of domain knowledge the previous person had.

Tom stayed for nearly a year and half — and it was great. When he finally left, he left with a great idea, my support and gained invaluable knowledge about culture, team and had a strong perspective how he wanted to raise

How should the culture in your company help anybody else? I always thought culture is based on preferences of people working in a company. A culture that fits company A doesn’t fit company B.

All in all about 10% of the team at Powerset later became founders.

Does this mean that Powerset had 10% of A-grade people? If yes, this seems to be pretty decent statistics, especially considered that you were hunting A-grade people explicitly.