This question originally appeared on Quora: What should I do in my first six months at a startup to stand out? Answer by Auren Hoffman, former LiveRamp CEO and chairman of Siftery.
The easiest way to stand out is to outwork everyone in the company.
- Get everything asked of you done before it is due.
- Keep asking those around you for more things to do… and get those things done too.
- Ask people that are not in your organization what problems they are having and see if you can write code to help them. You’d be surprised how easy it is to help recruiters, finance people, BD people, sales people, etc. with just a little bit of code.
As a CEO, the easiest thing for me to notice was who was working the hardest. I always noticed that. Knowing how someone was performing was harder to know (though those working the hardest are highly correlated with the best performers), and required some investigation. So I would always notice the new hires who were clearly getting everything done that was asked of them, and who then started pestering people for more things to do.
I once worked with a summer intern who finished everything we asked him to do for the first week in the first day. It was a long day, but it was a day. So we gave him five times more work to do for the next week… but somehow that only took him two days to do. So he started pestering us to give him more and more things to do. He was really hard to manage because we could never stay in front of him… he was (and still is) a superstar. We obviously gave him a full-time offer, and he became one of the leaders in the company—eventually becoming a VP and being the main champion of the new strategic direction that ended up defining our success.
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