Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
“Take a Risk”: Silicon Valley Veteran Molly Graham on How to Scale Yourself & Your Startup

“Take a Risk”: Silicon Valley Veteran Molly Graham on How to Scale Yourself & Your Startup

Silicon Valley veteran and early employee at Google, Facebook, and Quip, Molly Graham, joins CJ to discuss all things related to scaling startups, growing as a leader, and progressing in your career. Molly talks about her famous “Give Away Your Legos” talk and how this came about before she and CJ discuss the concept of “work grief” and how to get through it when you have to give up something that your identity is tied to. Having had a very non-linear career path and “stumbling sideways into things”, Molly explains the J-Curve versus staircase analogy for career progression and encourages especially those in finance roles to take big risks. From handling the grief of laying someone off to learning the skill of saying no, mastering the art of destruction as an important part of building a company, and knowing how to fire people not just hire them, Molly shares profound insights from her impressive career. 

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@cjgustafson222 (CJ)

@molly_g (Molly)



“‘Give Away Your Legos’ and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups” - Molly Graham: 


(00:00) Preview and Intro

(01:54) Sponsor - Maxio | Mercury

(04:15) What It Means to “Give Away Your Legos”

(07:59) The Concept of “Work Grief” and How to Get Through It

(12:30) Using the Worst-case Scenario as a Motivator

(15:41) Handling the Grief of Laying Someone Off

(17:28) Sponsor - Netsuite

(18:44) The J-curve Versus Staircase Analogy for Career Progression

(27:31) The Powerful Combo of Risky Paths and Network Building

(30:45) Why You Should Take a Risk if You’re in FP&A or Finance

(33:22) What It Was Like Working Directly for Chamath at Facebook

(34:19) Learning the Skill of Saying No 

(40:18) Why It’s Okay Not to Have a Career Path Mapped Out

(42:41) Destruction as an Important Part of Building a Company

(46:04) The Skill of Time Compression for Leaders

(49:23) The Importance of Knowing How to Fire People, Not Just Hire Them

(53:58) Glue Club and Who Can Benefit From It

(55:21) Finding Your Product Market Fit at Companies of Different Sizes

(59:38) Wrap

Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Run the Numbers is a twice-weekly podcast about financial metrics and business models, designed for ambitious people operating tech startups. It's a collection of things host CJ Gustafson (CFO at Partstech and writer of Mostly Metrics) has learned and thought about in the trenches as a tech CFO.
This show is meant to serve as a playbook of sorts for the stuff CJ wishes he knew earlier in his career, both from experience and from copying people smarter than himself.
Topics frequently touch upon Startup SaaS Metrics, Annual Budgeting, Financial Forecasting, Headcount, Equity, Dilution, and Fundraising – and how all of these drive business performance and growth.