The GTM podcast
The GTM Podcast

Mark Cranney

October 18, 2022
43 min

Episode Description

Creating a Winning Culture with Mark Cranney

Knowing whether your opponents are coached by Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, or Urban Meyer is helpful when joining a football league. Scouting, practice, and game plans must all be adequately modified.

Developing a winning strategy and culture at a company is similar. To succeed, you must understand your competition and optimize your recruiting, strategy, and operations playbooks.

In this first episode of the GTMfund Podcast, we have a man who is an expert in developing winning playbooks, cultures, and strategies that put his competition on the back foot.

Mark Cranney is an enterprise go-to-market operator and three-time unicorn creator. Most recently, he was the COO at Skydio. He's also a founding operating partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and has been involved in the acquisitions of Opsware and Aster Data Systems by HP and Teradata, respectively.

What You'll Learn: 

1. How to create a winning culture

2. How to keep your competition at bay

3. How to hire talent that culturally fits your organization

Episode Highlights:

• (02:25) – Introducing Mark Cranney

• (03:48) – Two books that shaped Mark's winning culture

• (10:39) – How to keep your competition at bay

• (14:10) – Three questions to ask when scouting for culture-fit talent

• (15:46) – How to keep recruited talent motivated

• (16:16) – "Process triumphs heroics." How Mark created and used playbooks to create winning cultures

• (23:00) – Why you need to get more granular in your competitive strategy

• (35:17) – How to create a winning culture without turning your team's culture toxic.

• (37:18) – "If it's not a competitive environment, for me, that's toxic."

• (39:09) – Mark's parting advice



"The winning general knows the outcome before the battle even starts."

"You got to go where you can win, particularly when you don't have a lot of arrows in your quiver. You've got to make sure you're spending time in the right places, from a segmentation and targeting standpoint, until you build up the muscle where you can expand into other scenarios."

"If it's not a competitive environment, for me, that's toxic."

"If you have eight hours to chop down a tree, are you going to spend eight hours hacking away with a dull axe? Or are you going to spend seven of them sharpening the blade and an hour chopping the tree down?"

"If you take a shortcut, there's always a consequence—and it's usually not a good one."


Links & Resources:

Mark Cranney's LinkedIn

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, a book by Ben Horowitz

What You Do Is Who You Are, a book by Ben Horowitz


The GTMfund website -

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