I (Quinn Slack) am the CEO of Sourcegraph. This page describes my responsibilities and how to get what you need from me. It’s intended to be helpful to our team and as a linkable reference to answer common questions (I don’t expect everyone to memorize this page).
My personal site is slack.org.
We want to grow the number of people who use Sourcegraph. This is a leading indicator of progress toward our mission to make it so everyone can code.
Revenue, like user adoption, is a leading indicator of progress toward our mission. Revenue earned from a customer is evidence that we’re solving a big problem, and it helps us hire more great people so we can solve similar problems for more customers.
Revenue is a lagging indicator. Something you do today might not yield a dollar of revenue for many months. We could set a top company goal around pipeline, which is a model of future revenue sources that would theoretically give us faster feedback. But we want our top company goals to be well-defined indicators of success, so pipeline (as a model/abstraction that depends on various assumptions) isn’t appropriate. Our sales team still does track pipeline, and we’ll experiment with using it to recognize other teams’ impact (such as an engineer shipping a feature that helps several prospects have successful Sourcegraph roll-outs).
The previous 2 goals entail fast growth, which is risky for any company to undergo. We don’t want to achieve them, or try to achieve them, by doing things that would break the company. We will settle for slower growth if that is needed to preserve our values.
See ”Roles of the CEO“.
If possible, let’s talk asynchronously and publicly.
My preferred working hours are - Pacific Time.
If you need me to review something (such as a blog post or plan), please state:
- The context (ideally a single link to an RFC or other written down doc)
- What input you need from me
This is to avoid me jumping in and making low-level wording fixes when you’re looking for high-level strategy input.
If the document to be reviewed isn’t private, please post the review request with the context above publicly. Other people involved may have relevant context of their own to share.
If you want me to send an email with a specific message to someone else (e.g., a customer), you should send me an email with:
- Instructions, such as “Please email this, bcc me on the outgoing email, forward me any responses, and cc me on further emails.”
- Recipient name(s) and email address(es)
- Email subject
- Email body (text, no HTML)
- Omit any niceties like “Hello” and “Sincerely”. I will add those myself.
If you’re interviewing with me for a role on the Sourcegraph team that doesn’t directly report to me, here are my goals for the interview:
- Make you feel confident that Sourcegraph is an awesome company for you to join
- I don’t want candidates to join Sourcegraph just because they got “convinced by the CEO”. We want a hiring process that makes it easy for people to determine if Sourcegraph is an awesome company for them. That’s a big reason why we decided to be transparent. So, I don’t view this as a “hard sell”, but rather a 2-way discussion.
- Understand if you will be successful in the role
- Demonstrate our values and culture and ensure you will help uphold these things
How the interview will usually go:
- Before the interview, I will read your application and the feedback from other team members’ interviews. I want to learn what you’re looking for in your next role and decide what areas we should discuss.
- I’ll say hello and do some small talk to build rapport. If you don’t like small talk, feel free to tell me that and cut me off. :)
- I will describe my agenda for the call. If you have another agenda in mind, just say so.
- “First, I’d like to share why we started Sourcegraph and got to this point, so you know what you’d be joining.”
- “After that, I would like to talk about
__________(areas of discussion I decided on from my review).”
- “I want to leave time at the end for any questions you have. Would you prefer to cover your questions now, or at the end?”
- I don’t like putting candidates on the spot for questions (“Do you have any questions for me right now?”), so I tell them in advance that they will have time for questions and give them the option (but not requirement) to ask immediately.
- Most candidates do have thoughtful questions. If you are nervous because you aren’t sure what to ask, then just ask to discuss topics that you care about, even if they aren’t questions per se. I do want to see you engaging in the interview and don’t want it to be 1-way.
- I often ask:
- What’s a big important thing you did that made a lot of money for your company or helped a lot of users/customers, that wouldn’t have happened if not for you?
I am happy to share internal financial metrics about the health of our business and other similar information to help candidates understand the opportunity here. Here are some questions candidates frequently ask:
- What is the company’s current revenue growth rate? What are the future plans for growth?
- What are the company’s exit plans? We intend to remain an independent company and IPO because we are the leader in a big market.
See ”Sharing company financials” for more.