Friday, July 6, 2007

Marc Andreessen on Employee Retention…

Well, not really. On winning.

I'm loving this post, and did my part to circulate it amongst the leadership here at Yahoo.

Marc's comments about innovation really resonated for me... People have often misconstrued my group's mission as being responsible for "innovation" at Yahoo. I've always hated this. Once a journalist said to me, "Oh... You guys are the engine of innovation..." I paused and said, "No... We're the grease of innovation... We're not about innovating for Yahoo, but rather creating a forum for every one of our employees to become better at their craft."

That's what things like Hack Yahoo, and Hack Days are about. A program like Brickhouse is more about giving every Yahoo an opportunity to get their ideas resourced (via something we've called a Brickhouse sabbatical), than it is about an "elite" segregated group of individuals doing it on behalf of the company.

Caterina, Chad and I used to always revert to musical analogies. We're like the roadies, building the stage, working the soundboards, the spotlights, etc. We also provide a "house band" of super talented session musicians. But it's the Yahoos (i.e. everyone else) who gets to climb up on stage and shine. Caterina, Salim and Scott are like the "A & R" folks at a label - listening for talent that we might want to "sign up" and bring back into the studio for an extended session.