Aug 14 • 1HR 32M

The rituals of great teams | Shishir Mehrotra of Coda, YouTube, Microsoft

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Lenny Rachitsky interviews world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.
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Shishir Mehrotra is the co-founder and CEO of Coda, and formerly head of product and engineering at YouTube. In this episode, he shares his insights on growth strategy, how he evaluates talent, a peek at his upcoming book The Rituals of Great Teams, why reference checks are the most important step in the interview process, and so much more. Join us.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-rituals-of-great-teams-shishir-mehrotra-coda-youtube-microsoft/#transcript

Where to find Shishir Mehrotra:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/shishirmehrotra

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shishirmehrotra/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Coda: http://coda.io/lenny

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/

Referenced:

• The Rituals of Great Teams Braintrust: https://coda.io/@shishir/join-the-rituals-of-great-teams-braintrust

• Bing Gordon: https://www.kleinerperkins.com/people/bing-gordon/

Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath: https://www.amazon.com/Switch-Change-Things-When-Hard/dp/0385528752

• PSHE diagram: https://coda.io/@shishir/pshe

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud: https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-Scott-McCloud/dp/1627652736

Only Murders in the Building: https://www.hulu.com/series/only-murders-in-the-building-ef31c7e1-cd0f-4e07-848d-1cbfedb50ddf

WandaVision: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WandaVision

• Fidji Simo: https://twitter.com/fidjissimo

• Daniel Ek: https://twitter.com/eldsjal/

• Reid Hoffman: https://twitter.com/reidhoffman?

• Mamoon Hamid: https://twitter.com/mamoonha

• Quentin Clark: https://twitter.com/quentinclark

• Sarah Guo: https://twitter.com/saranormous

In this episode, we cover:

[4:13] Shishir’s background at Google and current role at Coda

[7:53] How Shishir got on the board of Spotify

[8:58] Black loops and blue loops and how Coda uses this internal diagram 

[9:52] The black loop is how a product is naturally shared

[12:15] The blue loop is the emotional loop on why products are shared

[14:55] Why you should think in loops instead of funnels

[18:20] Mining for your business’s loops by looking at what you tell job candidates

[24:37] Shishir’s upcoming book The Rituals of Great Teams 

[26:30] The 3 golden rituals of teams

[27:10] Coda’s golden ritual: Dory and Pulse

[31:29] Shishir’s most impactful rituals: Arianna Huffington’s reset, Gusto’s incredible hiring call, and Coinbase’s Rapids

[40:38] How you find your own team’s rituals

[42:50] How to change things when change is hard

[45:01] Airbnb’s unique rituals

[46:45] A backstory on YouTube, and valuing consistency over comprehensiveness

[53:00] Eigenquestions: What they are, how to use them, and examples

[59:05] One of Shishir’s favorite retired interview questions 

[1:03:11] How to evaluate talent, a story about YouTube, and breaking down PSHE

[1:15:20] How to approach reference checks and what questions to ask

[1:24:33] Favorite books

[1:25:50] Favorite TV shows and movies

[1:26:50] Favorite interview questions

[1:28:44] Who in the industry Shishir respects as a thought leader

[1:30:10] His go-to karaoke song

[1:30:40] Where you can find Shishir

Production and marketing: https://penname.co/