YC Startup School Radio: Shoptiques CEO Olga Vidisheva On The Challenge Of Hiring Great People

by Alexis Ohanian8/25/2015

In Episode 5 of YC Startup School Radio, our host Aaron Harris sat down with David Tisch and Alan Tisch, the co-founders of mobile shopping app Spring, and Olga Vidisheva, the founder and CEO of e-commerce platform and YC W12 alum Shoptiques.

You can listen to the full hour-long episode on SoundCloud here or on iTunes here, and read the full transcript on Genius here.

In one interesting portion of Vidisheva’s interview, she talked about how unexpectedly challenging she found it as a startup founder to find top-tier talent to hire:

Aaron: What’s the thing that surprised you most in building Shoptiques? Is there anything you didn’t expect when you started?

Olga: So, I [previously] worked at Goldman Sachs. I loved Goldman, and I think that the beauty of Goldman is that the people are so smart. I didn’t realize how hard it is to actually hire smart people. I thought that everybody would be very driven and motivated off the get-go. I think it’s because I was coming from Wellesley, going to Harvard, going to Goldman, and going to Y Combinator, where everybody was like, “Let’s work hard.” And then going around and being around people, you’re like, “Oh my God. I guess not everybody’s that driven and motivated.” So I didn’t realize how important and how hard hiring is. But now I learned my lesson, so.

Aaron: So now you only hire the best and the people who are gonna perform.

Olga: I think I always hired the best, but I didn’t realize how hard it is to find the best, you know?

Aaron: Right. Yeah, especially as a small company. I mean, hiring as a small company, you’re hiring against Google when it comes to engineering and you’re hiring against, I don’t know, like the largest companies in the world because they’re the ones with budgets.

Olga: But to be honest, I also don’t want people that maybe worked at Google, because they might just want to build this little thing. I want people who are thinking about the customer, who are thinking about the product all the time.

So finding the people that have the same mentality as you, because those are the people that are making millions of decisions about your product every single second, so you want to find people that think like you and finding that person is so hard.


  • Alexis Ohanian