Chamath’s Rules for Hiring

Chamath Palihapitiya is the founder and managing partner of The Social+Capital Partnership, a venture capital fund focused on making huge bets on breakthrough companies in industries including healthcare, finance, and education.

If you want to understand growth hacking and scaling, look no further. Before becoming an investor, Chamath was VP of Growth, Mobile and International at Facebook where he helped to grow the company from 30 million to 800 million users. He’s also the 100th best poker player in the world, owner of the Golden State Warriors and a self-described baller.

One of the biggest contributors to his success is his ability to read people, both on the poker table and off. By building an amazing team at Facebook, he was able to put the company on the path to 1 billion users. In a talk delivered to a growth hacking conference, Chamath laid out his rules for hiring, which we’ve summarized below.


“These are rules that are blindingly, glaringly obvious but people make mistakes around these things all the time.”

Qualities in a Good Hire

  • Very high IQ – it’s self explanatory
  • Strong sense of purpose – find people who won’t buckle under short term pressure
  • Relentless focus on success – you want people on your team who are determined to do whatever it takes to win
  • Competitive nature – they respect the person but challenge the idea
  • High quality bar/perfectionism – nothing is ever good; when something improves, it needs to become even better
  • Courage – they have the courage to be unconventional and aren’t afraid to scrap things and start over
  • High integrity – speaks for itself, too many people focus on short term results; there’s not enough long term thinking
    Founders should surround themselves with great people. As Chamath puts it, “don’t be afraid to hire individuals who are smarter than yourself.” Applying these principles at Facebook allowed them to build out a team whose product surpassed MySpace and became the dominant social networking platform of our time.