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John Hennessy is the chairman of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. In this episode of #ThePlaybook, Hennessy talks with host David Meltzer about the “formula” companies need to be great, what he looks for when evaluating a startup and why you shouldn’t focus on your legacy too early in your career.

Hennessy talks about his childhood, including his parents and his five siblings’ influence on him. He speaks to the importance of doing great things for customers and employees for businesses.

Hennessy discusses what he looks for in startups when evaluating whether and how much to invest in them, namely their technology, the risk associated with the business and team risk — whether the company’s management can handle change and growth. 

Hennessy talks about legacy and why focusing on it too early in your career could make you risk-averse. He also paraphrases his favorite Socrates quote, which relates to legacy. 

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