higuchi.com blog

The means justifies the ends

経営者は孤独 [レイオフのこなし方]

TechCrunch に載っていた “Email From Jason Calacanis: How To Handle Layoffs”(ジェイソン・カラカニスからの手紙:どうやってレイオフをこなすか。この “handle”は、なかなかいい訳が思いつきません。ごめんなさい)という記事が示唆に富んでいます。経営者の皆様限定で、狭く強くオススメ。

先日、従業員の 10% をレイオフすると発表したスタートアップ企業 Mahalo の CEO、Jason Calacanis が、自分の email newsletter (日本で言うメルマガですね)に書いた記事。もとのメルマガの記事には “Please feel free to forward this to folks you think it would help, but please don’t republish this on the web.” と、Web への再掲はしないでくれということが明示してあるのにそれを無視して掲載した TechCrunch のモラルに対しては批判を禁じ得ないけど、でもこの文章は実に明快で的確。レイオフという経営者にとってつらい作業を、いかに正しく素早くハンドルするか(したか)を、分析、戦略、議論、実行の4つのステップを踏んで生々しく説明しています。
長文のせいか、まだ日本語版の TechCrunch には翻訳記事が出ていないようですが、そんなに難しい英語じゃないので、原文でもすらすら読めると思います。

There is little upside in pushing out hard decisions like this slowly because of the simple fact that you’re burning gas while you’re deciding.
... you need to get the members of your management team to agree that you’re going to pursue your very difficult job with as little emotion as possible. If it helps, pretend you’re an outside consultant and you’ve been given the task to “save the company” with these cuts–because that’s not far off from the truth.
The first step was getting out our P&L and looking at each line item in detail. ... We had exactly three years of capital in the bank when we started this process, and while that is 2-10x the runway of most startups, I set the goal for the company to reach four years of runway.
It was fairly clear in looking at our budget that we were spending two editorial dollars for every technology dollar... As a venture-backed entrepreneur, you have to be able see through the fog of millions of dollars of investment in order to find your way sometimes.

Question every dollar you’re spending and ask yourself: “Is there a better use for this dollar?”
The most obvious things we found on our P&L were operational things regarding our facility: office space, phones, servers, etc. We swapped our communication systems out and saved $1.5k a month, we rented out a bunch of space, we cleared out some other offices to rent them, and we cut down on non-essential travel (think: my never-ending speaking gigs). The saving here was solid so we moved on to the hard stuff referred to coldly as “human capital” by accountants. People.
We’re getting focused on revenues a little earlier than we thought we would, and that’s never a bad thing in my mind. However, our goal is to build a service that has 7-10m unique visitors a month. We don’t want to get to break-even and stay for 4m for ever. That’s a nice business, but we want to build an EPIC business.
The fact is, too much debate is probably not going to help. As the leader of the organization, you can take all the information in and make a quick decision.
If you cut too deep, you can hire folks back, and given the economy, it’s better you secure your company’s survival right now and think about scaling up when the market gives you some signs of hitting a bottom. There is no sign of a bottom right now–despite what the clowns on CNBC might say.
1. Don’t spread layoffs over multiple rounds: This is a horrible idea because it creates massive fear and uncertainty inside of your organization...
2. Don’t lay people off one at a time, do it as a group...
3. Don’t sugar coat it: You need to be 100% honest and up front with people about why you’re doing it and what your decision was based on...
4. Cutting salaries over headcount is *generally* not a good idea...
5. Be as generous as you can...
6. Don’t drag it out: It’s better to do these type of things at the end of the day, and if folks are done with their questions, let folks leave. Folks have families and a lot of issues to deal with, and there is no need to keep them around for the entire day or for a couple of more days. The folks who are left can clean up the loose ends.
7. Get everyone focused again: After the layoffs, you have to make sure everyone understands what the goals are–even if they haven’t changed–and get folks ready to kill it again...

ついでに、この人のブログ記事、How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips) も必読。

TechCrunch: “Email From Jason Calacanis: How To Handle Layoffs”





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