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Dana and I think hiring is one of the most important parts of what we do. We set out to hire some great individuals and ended up hiring a team. It wasn’t by design, but it turned out so well that we’re now looking to hire another great team (as well as more great individuals). Here’s how it all came about.

When we started YeshID, Dana and I thought a lot about our culture, values, mission, and vision. We created a plan for the milestones we wanted to hit and when. From those, we extracted the skills we needed, how many people we’d need, and how we would find them (see also: joining a startup in recession). We care deeply about our customers and team.

We went over everyone we knew. One was DJ –David Cornell. He and Dana had worked together at OpenDNS. After Cisco acquired OpenDNS, DJ went through the ranks to become a director of engineering at Cisco. He fit our criteria. Dana knew him a trusted him – and after a few conversations, so did I. We hired him quickly. He started in August.

“Who do you know? Who would you like to work with?” we asked DJ. – “Scott and Kevin,” he answered. They’d worked together at Cisco. DJ knew and trusted them. I interviewed them and saw the talented engineers and great team they are! But there was a question. Scott and Kevin were missing the subject matter expertise we wanted – experience in developing Identity and Access Control products. What to do?

Being data-driven, we revisited the needed expertise, the timeline for the milestones we defined, and the risks we imagined we’ll need to overcome. How did it compare against the advantages of hiring a team – a group of people who knows each other, worked together, and can hit the ground running? We quickly realized this is not a data-driven decision but an opinion one, as Tony Fadell frames it.

As soon as we reframed the decision, everything became clear. In our situation, the upside outweighed the downside by orders of magnitude. “A high-quality pre-jelled team will outperform and out-learn experts who never worked before together.” We made the offer.

Kevin and Scott accepted and joined us a month after DJ did. In no time, they were kicking ass. Our hypothesis had worked. Brilliantly!

YeshID is hiring again.

We’re looking for individuals and small teams who together built something amazing and need or want a change. See open positions on our career page, and ping me on LinkedIn or email us jobs(at)