I lost him after a tragedy. Before any of that though, when I first met him, he came to his interview well prepared with a binder full all of his portfolio items. He was one of the first people I skills tested, by actually having him code a site while I sat next to him and watched (turns out there are more efficient ways to skills test…). Hiren’s designs looked great and his development code was spot on. He was hired.
Hiren was of Indian descent, with a short and compact body. He was a solid basketball player and a generally decent person.
Over the course of a couple of years, he proved to be very reliable. He rarely missed work and would put in extra time when needed to make sure deadlines were met.
One day he asked me to step outside with him. We were working in our office on right next to Ocean Avenue in Venice with a view of the beach and the ocean. We went outside into the warm, sunny day and he told me his brother was suffering from a debilitating disease. I have three brothers myself, so I immediately was overwhelmed with sympathy.
A few months later, there was a 5k walk fundraiser for the disease his brother suffered from. The Laker girls came and Coalition attended and donated a substantial amount of money.
Hiren missed work for the first couple of times as his brother’s health declined. The day his brother passed, he let Tara (my girlfriend at the time who also worked for me at the time) and I know. He invited us to the funeral in Bakersfield and offered to let us stay free at his parents motel. We accepted and went to the service and learned more about his brother and his life. There was a big Indian dinner then a bit of an Irish wake the evening after the service. The next day Tara and I drove back to LA.
Hiren resigned a short time later. I had never lost an important team member before and tried to keep him on board without success. One thing I have learned in business is that once someone has decided to resign, almost nothing will keep them – not money, title, career, work changes. If you want to keep someone, you need to make sure they never get to the point where they want to resign. Keeping team members motivated is an area I struggle with to this day.