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🌊 Career Cold Start Algorithm: Meta's CTO Framework for your first 30 days
👋 Hello! I’m Ivan. Join 6.8K entrepreneurs surfing startup waves.
🪜 Career Cold Start Algorithm: by Meta’s CTO.
💡 Thinking: career experimentation in your 20s.
💵 Iberian Deals: 11 startup deals in Spain (>60M).
🪜 Career Cold Start Algorithm
I worked at Facebook on a few products for a few years.
Leaving my previous company (BloomReach) was tough. I learned from some of the coolest & smartest people I’ve ever met.
I remember my last conversation with the CEO at a bar in London, knowing I was leaving, he told me 2 things:
Figure out if you eventually want to go deep on one thing for 10 years (startup founder) or go broad for 10 years (investing).
At Facebook, don’t bother trying to learn to “operate within your box” / learn vertical or specific skills (you’ll pick these up) - rather, focus on learning all of the tacit things (what Naval calls “specific knowledge”) that are going on:
Company Culture: What are the unwritten rules, norms, and values that guide behaviour within facebook?
Social Dynamics: how do teams and individuals interact? how do they communicate informally?
Workflows and Processes: how do they effectively manage tasks?
Problem-Solving Approaches: what techniques and methods do employees use to tackle challenges that may not be formally taught?
Industry Insights: What are the nuances of the industry and market?
Effective Communication: How does leadership convey information, persuade others, and build relationships?
Customer Understanding: How does the company gather Insights into customer needs, preferences, and pain points?
Product Knowledge: How is product strategy designed and executed?
Management Styles: how do managers lead and make decisions?
A coupe months went by and I found myself doing my onboarding at Facebook. Over the years - and following his advice - I built a document compiling these lessons (which often time end up becoming Startup Riders’ editions) - but I digress.
During my first week at Facebook, I remember my manager suggesting that I read and implement a framework to help kick-off and accelerate my integration within my newly formed AR Studio team (now called Spark, part of Facebook Reality Labs).
This framework helped me build relationships quickly, identify the biggest problems faced by the team, and compile a list of “quick wins” / low-effort-to-reward to hit the ground running. One of the biggest pain points that came from this exercise was that the team needed help building a community of early product adopters to:
Help us gather product feedback to prioritise bugs and product features.
Kick-off user adoption, engage and retain users.
And so I started working on one of the coolest things I did at the time which was building the Spark AR Community - a place where AR creators could exchange ideas, learn from one another, and provide us with valuable user feedback which we used to help prioritise our product and quality roadmaps. Today, this community has >100K engaged members.
One day, our then VP Boz (now CTO at Meta), came to visit our team in the London office. I remember sitting in a meeting room with him and a few heads of Engineering, Design and Research around the table, and was surprised when he mentioned how awesome he thought the community we were building was.
I also remember the types of thoughtful questions he kept asking - and how his intent was to genuinely understand our problems at different levels.
Not surprisingly, he was the author of the Career Cold Start Algorithm note - the framework my manager had insisted I implement. Since then, I’ve used and recommended this note to everyone that starts on a new team. Here it is:
💡 Some final pieces of tactical advice:
You should make this framework yours, and add to it.
Use a shared google doc with your peers and manager and share what you learn
Once you have completed the interviews and typed all your notes, take some time to identify connective tissue across the big pain points, the quick wins and the map of influence.
Chose 3 objetives and tie them back to your teams OKRs (prove your impact)
2 quick-win problems
1 well prioritised big problem
People spend 5 minutes deciding which career to study and 5 years pursuing it.
In northern Europe, you are often encouraged to try different jobs quickly (more so than in the south). Quick iterations allow you to discover what doesn't fit.
In your twenties, you should make decisions on where to work by prioritising a fast rate of learning versus practically any other factor.
Your opportunity cost is lower + you have more chances to find where these overlap:
what the market demands
your skills (natural or developed)
what fulfils you
💵 Iberian Deals
You love startups and want to enjoy a Spanish lifestyle? Come join the Spanish startup ecosystem. Here’s a list of recently funded startups:
Bound4blue (wind-assisted propulsion) raised 22M.
Beamer (marketing platform) raised 20M
Correcto (language software) raised 7M
Codee (code inspection) raised 5M
Inari (insurance) raised 4.8M
Caravelo (travel-tech) raised 3.5M
Openvolt (api for smart meter) raised 1.5M
Unibo (fintech) raised 1.2M
eSave (OCR) raised 1M
Solfy (energy) raised 1M
Nanobots Therapeutics raised 478K
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