CEO

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.

Goals

Everyone at Sourcegraph contributes to these top company goals, but the CEO is ultimately responsible for achieving these goals through building the right team and setting the right strategy.

Grow adoption

Owner: @sqs

We want to grow the number of people who actually regularly choose to use Sourcegraph. This is a leading indicator of progress toward our mission to make it so everyone can code.

  • We say “adoption” not just “usage” or “awareness” because we don’t want just drive-by/one-time visitors.
  • We want to target people whose adoption would lead to us getting more customers.
  • Ideally, the ways in which we grow adoption are scalable (that is, they can be extrapolated over time to reach ~10M+ devs monthly).

We’ll measure adoption using a combination of the following metrics (WIP):

  • User feedback, as measured by the NPS survey
  • Number of first-time users
  • Cohort retention

First, we need to get solid measurements of all of these numbers. Then we will set quantitative targets.

Grow pipeline

Owner: @sqs

Our pipeline is the list of organizations that we think will pay for Sourcegraph in the future (see sales stages). This is a way to predict our future revenue. Revenue, like user adoption, is a leading indicator of progress toward our mission, and pipeline is a leading indicator of revenue.

We’ll measure goal success using 2 pipeline coverage ratios (which show how much pipeline we have relative to the amount of revenue we’d like to book in a period):

  • New customer pipeline coverage
  • Expansion pipeline coverage

We have plans for these figures already, and we’ll revisit the quantitative targets when we have Sales and Customer Success leadership in place starting in early Aug 2020.

Why choose pipeline, not revenue, as the goal? Revenue is a lagging indicator. Something you do today (such as shipping a new feature or making new people aware of Sourcegraph) can show up in pipeline within hours or days if it generates interest from a prospect, but it may take weeks or months to turn into a signed deal and actual revenue. As long as our sales team is rigorous about measuring pipeline, everyone else can rely on the pipeline abstraction for their own goal-setting.

Responsibilities

See “Roles of the CEO”.

Communicating with me

The best way to communicate is asynchronously and publicly. If you need a video call with me, send me a calendar invite and include an agenda in the description.

My preferred working hours are 07:30-17:00 and 19:00-21:00 US Pacific Time (Google Calendar does not let me specify a noncontigous “working hours” block).

I’ve found recurring meetings with specific single teammates (other than my 1-1s) to be ineffective. In most cases, people either want to discuss topics with me that are best discussed with a larger group or someone else, or they don’t have any topics to discuss but don’t want to offend me by canceling the recurring event.

Asking for a review from me

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.

Asking me to send an email

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.

Interviews with me

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. :)
  3. 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.

Questions about Sourcegraph

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:

  1. What is the company’s current revenue growth rate? What are the future plans for growth?
  2. 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.