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How Keith Rabois Builds Billion-Dollar Businesses: Radical Simplicity

Caleb Kaiser
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Be obsessed with simplicity.

Every Business is Just an Equation

  • Most companies can be reduced into a simple equation that relates cost and revenue variables.
  • At Square, Rabois and the team focused on isolating one variable — cost per customer.

To Grow Fast, Throw Out The Org Chart

  • Rabois has a term for people who display high levels of strategic thinking — barrels.
  • When reorganizing a company, start by listing the company's problems next to the barrels that will solve them.
  • It's critical to get your most talented people working on the most important problems.

A Simple System For Nurturing Talent

  • Give top talent more and more responsibility until they either reach a point of failure or are capable of running the company.
  • Give your employees the chance to test themselves, while simultaneously reassuring them that reaching a personal point of failure is not a punishable offense.

A Leadership System - Not a Leadership Style

  • Don't have just one leadership style.
  • Have a system for delegating work that allows you to manage employees differently depending on your confidence in their plan of action.

Simplicity is Speed, and Speed is Growth

  • The key to speed is simplicity.
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