If there’s one certainty in the Silicon Valley, it’s that the success of a startup highly correlates to its people. I didn’t realize this when I started my first company, Shazam, in late 1999. Our initial team of twenty was mostly hired from inside our network, and I would generally describe them as top-performers (and many of them have indeed gone out to start their own companies). The next set of hires at Shazam came through traditional recruiting and interviewing. This process, however, did not allow us to separate the A+ players from the A players, and the difference was meaningful. For example, I have firsthand seen how an A+ software engineer will easily do the work of three A-caliber engineers. Only when a person was six months or so in the job, we would be able to tell whether he or she was “the best” or “great” (“good” would not be hired), and the outcome felt like a mere draw of luck.