Grading Entrepreneurs

Can an entrepreneur be graded? What would the assessment look like? Jason Nazar, the founder of Docstoc, created a 55 question assessment to do just that. He posted this on Forbes last year and invited the reader to begin with the end in mind. The first half of the questions are listed below:

1. See opportunity where others see issues

2. Have a discipline for making decisions among various opportunity costs

3. Rapidly double down on something when it starts to work and blow it out to its full potential

4. Balance “gut decisions” with of a love of data-driven decisions

5. Focus on the one most important thing

6. Stay attached to the problem they are trying to solve, but be flexible in the solutions to solve it

7. Know when to apply a reality distortion field

8. Protect their downside and prevent the organization from being put at risk

9. Communicate expectations clearly, build buy-in and hold everyone accountable (most of all themselves)

10. Encourage open feedback on what they can improve

11. Put others in positions to make critical decisions and drive key initiatives forward

12. Prefer to give credit than to take credit

13. Do, or have done, what they ask others to do

14. Remain organized and disciplined in any work habits that affect others

15. Seek out and follow the council of advisors in and outside of the business

16. Balance “Coaching and Cheerleading” vs. “Doing and Directing”

17. Know when to set unrealistic goals

18. Regularly thank and appreciate others for a job well done (thanks to my co-founder Alon Shwartz for reminding me)

19. Make themselves consistently accessible to their team

20. Are honest and ethical in all their dealings

21. At least 20% of their time goes towards recruiting top talent (tip: some say 50% via Vinod Khosla)

22. Build a team of A vs. B players

23. Define the most important qualities for hiring

24. Counter-balance their weaknesses by hiring people better than them

25. Hire Fast & Fire Fast

26. Define what the culture should be

27. Create an ingrained culture, not one of platitudes


We will look at the rest of the list in the next post! Hope these are useful.