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Firing my first person because of avoidable mistakes

The first time I fired someone was one of the hardest experiences of my life.

It didn’t make it easier that I had zero doubt that this was the best decision for the company and my team. It didn’t help that we had exhausted multiple measures to try and course correct.

Sometimes knowing something is right does nothing to make doing it easier.

So OK, it sucked. Obviously. You have to pretty messed up to not be affected by making this kind of decision.

But the emotional side isn’t really what I want to focus on here.

I think it’s probably more useful to walk you through the key mistakes I made during the entire three month process from making an offer to letting my team member go.

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I Don’t Love Money

You know those movies where the bad-guy caresses a giant suitcase of money like it’s his favorite lover? How many times have you thought to yourself, man I’d love to have that cash!?

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Even My Mom Uses Whatsapp

Just about five months since Facebook bought Whatsapp for an unprecedented $19 billion (representing 1/10th of Facebook’s total market cap). Some of the controversy surrounding the sticker price has worn off with the passage of time.
Still, discussion continues to reverberate about what the acquisition means for Facebook and whether or not the company was smart to spend so much. And there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground between the two camps either. You either think Zuckerberg is an idiot and acted out of a defensive impulsiveness or you think he’s five steps ahead of everyone else in understanding connectivity within the new mobile app universe.

For me, it’s pretty simple. Facebook’s acquisition of Whatsapp is a game changer for the company. Every single time someone tells me they paid too much, I just say, “well even my mom uses Whatsapp.”

Here are five other reasons that the price Facebook paid was not too high.