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Harry Glaser, a former product manager at Google, has some advice for Facebook employees planning on making an exit from the social networking company.Here’s a summary of the bucket list:
- Meet as many people as possible — especially ones you want to poach. One day, you will want to recruit those engineers and product designers — and you’ll have to be on good terms with them to get them to say yes.
- Take any and all meetings in your last days. Introductions with venture capitalists aren’t nearly as important as meetings with engineers and sales people, but you should take every meeting and “quick coffee” that comes your way.
- Learn, learn, learn. Even if it means you don’t advance at Facebook, “When you leave, what job level you attained at Facebook will matter not at all,” Glaser says. What does matter are the engineering and sales skills you picked up along the way. Learn how Facebook implements its scale and how to pitch advertisers.
- Create, don’t iterate. “Invented and launched Facebook photos” looks better than being the nth product manager on ads and adding some small new feature. Knocking un-sexy features out might be good to advance at Facebook, but it isn’t going to train you well.
- Work with a risky new area and a team of hotshots. Join them in a crazy pursuit — you will be well rewarded, even if the idea goes down in flames. It’ll feel more like a startup experience, too, Glaser says.
- Save money. Facebook pays extremely well, but if you’re branching out to start your own company, you’ll want as long of a runway as possible. When you finally approach venture capitalists, you’ll want it to be on your terms.
- Don’t expect to be there forever. Leave and work at a startup at some point. “There’s no amount of validation you can wait for before quitting that will make it seem like less of a plunge,” Glaser says.
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