Team building is one of six foundational skills/services I leverage in my work in investment analysis. I also do team building projects stand-alone or bundled with other services:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Few things are more important to success than your team. To execute on big new opportunities, you need to: know what roles your team needs and what skills each role requires. Then, you need to be able to source, qualify and hire world-class talent. Finally, you need to be able to set a course and inspire your team to achieve at maximum personal and team potential.
For more than 20 years, I have built world-class startup teams.
A few highlights include:
- At 3jam I recruited a product manager (Cathy Edwards) from Australia who went on to found Chomp (app search) which she sold to Apple for $50M and is now a VP, Engineering at Google.
- The UX designer I sourced and hired at Zvents (Mike Holzer) has spent the last 8 years at Google and now runs a 70 person team as a Director, UX.
- I took over both VP Product and VP Engineering roles at an events search startup (Zvents) that was struggling, rebuilt the product and engineering team from 5 to 25 and sold them to eBay while also managing a SAAS platform that serviced 75 million annual unique users for Bing and every major newspaper group in the country.
How do I approach hiring?
In 2012 I wrote a series of articles on how to hire product managers. My articles were the top result on Google for "product manager interviews" for 5 years.
How do I approach management and leadership?
Below is feedback from seventeen people who have previously worked with me.
“Andy is one the most well rounded business leaders I've ever worked with. His tactical approach to move a business forward is unmatched. He's creative, very technical, and most importantly great to work with and for. He puts people first and comes to the table with a breadth of knowledge and experience. I'd gladly follow Andy to another adventure.”
“Andy is an entrepreneur of deep insight and tenacity. I trust him and his judgment totally. He understands the modern internet as well as anyone on the planet. He is a pleasure to know and work with. He will always be successful in whatever he chooses to do.”
“Andy is one of the very best technology executives who I have worked with. Our most recent 18 months at Zvents have demonstrated Andy's deep product, leadership, technology, and management expertise. Andy did a fantastic job of recruiting, retaining, and motivating a team through difficult prioritization and execution problems on tight
timelines and tight budgets. He touched a broad scope of areas, from site/datacenter operations to content quality, and every single area improved dramatically under his leadership. He also did a great job of focusing on both solving short-term problems and long-term value creation, as our successful acquisition by eBay/Stubhub demonstrates. Between this experience and the strategy and innovation work that we previously did together at NetService Ventures, I can say with confidence that Andy is an all-star all- round player.”
“Andy Jagoe provided product strategy and management consulting to eBay for new mobile applications. In a very short period of time, Andy navigated a slew of challenging decisions and processes around architecture and user experience design. He brought fresh creativity, laser focus on consumer needs, and a great collaborative spirit. With diplomatic but firm guidance he brought the team to a design which should accelerate eBay into new markets. I'd recommend him in a heartbeat.”
“Andy is an amazing leader. He is able to see the talent and strengths that people possess and provides opportunities and support for them to continue to develop those talents. Also, when/if a road block or question came up, I could openly discuss the issue with Andy and he would quickly find a resolution. While working with Andy, I was able to execute and work to my full potential.”
“I have had the pleasure of working for Andy for nearly 2 years at Zvents/Stubhub and he is one of the best people I have worked for. Immediately upon becoming the new VP of Product/Engineering, he took the time to individually speak with each team member about his background (which is impressive!) and desires/changes for the product. This was incredibly important as we built a rapport which carries forward today and we were better able to execute on product plans as he clearly explained what he was looking to have done. He always took the time to understand any issues I was facing and provided clear and meaningful feedback along with helping clear obstacles which was preventing me from completing my tasks. I highly recommend Andy for any team and I would welcome the opportunity to work with him again!”
“I've had the pleasure of working with Andy for the past 4 years as his co-founder at 3jam. During this time, he led the company through several rounds of successful funding events and product evolutions, resulting in the acquisition of millions of users and a wide portfolio of innovative products. Andy is a well-spoken individual who has a demonstrated proficiency for building business relationships and staffing teams with the appropriate talent. He has great organizational skills and is always on top of the key issues at hand. In addition, he is able to make the bold decisions and rapid direction changes required of high-level executives to keep the company competitive in challenging environments. Andy will be a valuable asset at any company, large or small, and I would not hesitate to work with him in the future.”
“Andy is a gifted manager, an inspired technologist, and a genuine pleasure to work with -- very highly recommended!”
“There exist only handful people in the world, who are passionate and capable entrepreneurs and who at the same time are professional so that I would let them speak directly with top executives of Fortune 500 companies. Andy is definitely one of them!”
“Andy is a true entrepreneur at heart, with an incredible ability to build and motivate talented and highly productive teams. His impact and contributions are evident at every level as he deftly navigates through complex, challenging strategic decisions while leaving no detail unaccounted for in the process. His diverse background and experience, in both the technical and business worlds, allow him to develop innovative and effective solutions to challenging problems across an entire organization. Andy is relentless in his pursuit of preparedness and success, serving as an inspirational leader to everyone around him. In addition to his impressive professional achievements, he has been an important mentor in my career, and I welcome the opportunity to work with him again in the future. Highly recommended. ”
“I have worked with Andy during the last two years on the executive team at Zvents. Andy stepped into a very difficult position and faced many challenges with limited resources. He did a great job at stabilizing and then building the engineering team. He oversaw some significant changes in our product by figuring out what was important and then focusing the team on only the top priorities. From the CFO's perspective, Andy was great to work with as he communicated well and never surprised me with sudden changes in the plan, execution or expenditure. We worked in a very collaborative way both on financial issues and also strategic/executive level issues. I look forward to working with Andy again in the future”
“Andy is a smart and tenacious entrepreneur and leader. I worked for him for three years in a fast-paced and demanding startup environment and came to respect his decisiveness, ability to set goals and relentless drive toward success.”
“I am on the advisory board for 3jam and greatly enjoy working with Andy. He is smart, creative, thoughtful in his execution, and has a real passion for making technology easy to use and fun. 3jam is one of those ideas that you cannot believe hasn't already been done. I think this will be one of many successes for Andy.”
“Andy's professionalism is to be admired. He has gone out of his way to keep both our team as a whole and me on an individual basis informed of the company's strategy. He has repeatedly given me opportunities to vocalize any feedback on our processes. He has also looked out for and advised me on advancing my career in the future. This level of respect has made working with Andy enjoyable at both 3jam and Zvents, and I look forward to working with him more in the future.”
“Working with Andy has been one of the highlights of my professional career. His openness and adaptability to new development strategies helped me grow as an engineer. His perseverance on the business side led to Zvents being acquired by StubHub. If you get a chance to work with him do not pass it up!”
“Andy is an amazing leader. He has great vision on products yet never misses any details along the way. He is extremely focused and decisive. He never hovers but will get me whatever resources I need to help out. His overall energy level is infectious. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him, and I would welcome any opportunities to work with him again in the future.”
“Andy is one of the very rare executives who combines a calm, cheerful demeanor, extensive knowledge of his area of expertise, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely, and a positive outlook under even the most demanding circumstances. He is receptive to criticism and is always interested in improving processes and enhancing group morale. Since he joined Zvents, Andy's consistent stewardship of the engineering department set the stage for much of our success as a company. It is a pleasure to work with him, and I would do so again without hesitation.”
“Andy is an executive that cares about people. A sharp guy, technically savvy. A significant member of and contributor to the executive team. What I appreciate best of Andy is his insight, objectivity and effort to collaborate on a variety of issues concerning both employees and business. To be able to work with Andy again would be my pleasure.”