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E282 | Defining A Startup Culture That Attracts And Repels with Robbie Vann-Adibé

Do you feel like you can never step away from the business? You’ve probably been told that as the leader, you should be involved in every decision and action to ensure success. But this approach only leads to burnout and limits the growth potential of your business, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stuck.

This week on Mind Your F**king Business Podcast, we learned from Robbie Vann-Adibé, a seasoned entrepreneur and business leader with decades of experience in the startup world. Robbie started as a coder, learning the ropes from the ground up. His experience in the US, particularly on the West Coast, exposed him to the intricacies of building and scaling businesses. Through his involvement in companies like Illustra and Wineowners, he gained invaluable insights into the early stages of tech innovation and its impact on the market. In his conversation with Dominic, Robbie brings to light the challenges and triumphs of navigating the ever-evolving landscape of technology and business, showcasing the significance of timing and adaptation. 

In this episode, Robbie dives into building a strong team and effective delegation. He also emphasises the significance of finding technical and cultural fit when hiring new people and the importance of making oneself redundant as a manager by empowering the team to take over roles. Robbie also discusses the ethical considerations in business and highlights the need for prioritising company values. 

If you’re seeking to build a solid, cohesive team that will catapult your growth, don’t miss this fantastic conversation with Robbie. 

Download and listen to learn more.

On today’s podcast: 

  • Mastering entrepreneurship and startup experiences for success.
  • Unveiling the significance of cultural fit in hiring top talent.
  • Bootstrapping versus Venture Capital funding.
  • Cultivating a strong team and making oneself redundant for business growth.
  • Upholding company values and ethics for sustainable success.

Follow Robbie Vann-Adibé:


Who is Robbie Vann-Adibé

Robbie is a British entrepreneur who spent the majority of his career in the US, particularly on the West Coast in the tech area. He began as a coder and rose through the ranks. Then he became a manager, then a senior manager, co-founder and, ultimately, founder. He has recently returned to the UK, from where he helps friends and associates scale their business. Leverages his many years of working within larger corporations and multiple start-ups, some his own, in both deep technology (databases, grid computing, development tools) and services (strategic consulting and internet technology), Robbie likes to apply his experience (pattern recognition) to interesting opportunities while having fun. 

He works with friends worldwide, in the Bay Area, NYC and Boston, London, Tuscany, Hong Kong and Singapore.

What you’ll learn from Robbie

04:40 – Robbie’s Two Most Successful Exits

08:32 – Embracing the Online Model in the 90s

10:07 – The Similarities Between The Dot-com Boom And Today’s Digital Transformation

12:11 – The Business Ecosystem in the US vs Europe

15:47 – Advantages of Doing Business in Europe

17:46 – Why Europe Have A More Global Attitude Than The US

22:04 – Bootstrap vs VC Funding

26:35 – The Unwritten Stories Of The Most Successful Companies

28:30 – Building The Right Team

31:13 – Hiring for Technical and Cultural Fit

32:04 – Why Group Interviews Are a Waste of Time 

34:07 – Why Is Your Recruitment Process Failing?

36:24 – Why You Need To Hire People That’s Better Than You

40:23 – Amazon’s ‘Bar Raiser’ Hiring Process

41:22 – The Importance of Defining Your Culture

42:33 – Defining Company Rules That Attract and Repel People

46:27 – Upholding Cultural Values in Business

49:48 – Ethics As A Mandatory Part of Education

51:43 – Doing Things the Right Way

52:42 – Book Recommendations

Book recommendations 


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