20VC: Why “Hire Great People and Get Out of the Way” is Total BS, Why Your Upbringing Can Make You a Worse Leader & A Bentley, A Nissan Cube and Becoming One of Macedonia’s Largest Employers; The Story of Slice with Ilir Sela

Posted on 4th August 2023 by Harry

Ilir Sela is the Founder and CEO of Slice, the all-in-one ordering and marketing tech platform for local pizzerias. Through its partnerships, Slice has driven over $1B in earnings for over 18,000 independent pizzerias nationwide. Fun fact, Slice is also one of the largest employers in Macedonia and at one point, employed so many people there, they had to start their own school to train more people. Before Slice, Ilir started Nerd Force and sold it in 2008. Huge thanks to Jeff Richards (GGV) and Ben Sun (Primary) for some amazing questions today.

In Today’s Discussion with Ilir Sela We Discuss:

1. From Macedonia to the Bright Lights of NYC and Bentley Buying:

  • How Ilir made his way into the world of startups having grown up in Macedonia?
  • How did his less affluent upbringing impact his approach to company building?
  • How does Ilir think about the importance of money? How did he come to buy a Bentley?
  • What does Ilir know now that he wishes he had known when he started?

2. Why Bootstrapped Was Best & The Decision to Fundraise:

  • Why did Ilir scale the business to $4M in revenue without ever fundraising?
  • What does Ilir believe are the benefits of scaling businesses with less money?
  • What would Ilir have done differently had he raised money earlier?
  • What advice does Ilir have for founders who see competitors raising more money than them?

3. Why Delegation is BS and Your Upbringing F***** You Up:

  • Why does Ilir believe that much of our upbringing can instill principles which make us a worse leader?
  • Why does Ilir believe it is BS to hire great people and get out of the way?
  • What are the single biggest mistakes Ilir sees founders make in company scaling?
  • What have been some of Ilir’s biggest lessons in talent acquisition?

4. Decision-Making 101:

  • How does Ilir analyze his decision-making framework today?
  • Where does he need to improve as a leader today? What does he need to do to get there?
  • What has been the single best decision he made with Slice? What did he learn from it?
  • What has been the worst decision he has made in the scaling process? How did that change his mindset?

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