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#06 Be conscious of the time you have, don’t always say yes – Karl Alomar

Karl Alomar COO at DigitalOcean is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in developing high growth businesses. He is responsible for driving the day-to-day business and people operations, and manages DigitalOcean’s international footprint—along with all procurement and global operations activities—as the company continues to build out its hardware and datacenter infrastructure internationally. Prior to DigitalOcean, he was the co-founder and senior partner of China Export Finance, Ltd, where he helped the business to grow from inception to more than $125M of annual revenue within four years. He received his MBA from Columbia Business School in New York and a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London.​


  • The growth phase of a startup is initially chaotic and demanding (07:00)
  • Scaling a startup requires finding a product-market fit first (07:43)
  • Transitioning from a small to medium-sized startup involves introducing structure and processes (08:25)
  • At this stage, clear communication and alignment become critical (09:50)
  • Hiring experienced leaders to handle different departments is essential (11:23)
  • Some founders may not be suitable for leadership roles as the company grows (17:03)
  • Introducing tools and procedures becomes valuable to manage growth effectively (18:09)
  • Change management is challenging but should be done quickly and decisively (22:04)
  • Ensuring leadership team alignment and support is crucial during transitions (24:45)
  • Autonomy and trust are important as the company expands; leaders drive their teams (27:48)
  • Work-life balance changes over time; finding time for family becomes a priority (33:06)
  • Building a leadership team with good lieutenants allows for more breathing room (34:41)
  • Self-motivation is necessary as a leader; personal drive fuels growth (36:27)
  • The biggest challenge is managing expectations and driving continuous growth (37:05)
  • Seeking mentors can be achieved by networking and expressing ambition (41:25)
  • Surrounding oneself with great people is a key factor in achieving success (43:06)
  • Encouragement for ambitious individuals to break new ground and reach their potential (44:24)

Interesting Quotes:

„Have the right leader on board and focus them in the right direction.”

„Have alignment and clarity of what you want to achieve.”

„Be conscious of your time, don’t say always yes.”

„Experienced people are inspired by ambition of young people.”

„Surround yourself with great people.”

Book Recommendation:

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t – Jim Collins
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers – Ben Horowitz
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future –  Ashlee Vanc
Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs  – David Yoffie
How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Great Article from Karl:

 Presentation at Family Meetup:

#Give responsibly to your leaders, #alignment, #all about communication, #AMA Tool, #Be conscious of your time you have, don’t say always yes, #do change quickly, #Funding vs Bootstrap, #Keep all people in sync, #Team Goals