I've hired now for 3 separate startups, and I'm still learning. One thing I've just appreciated this time around is how much defending culture matters.
In the past, I'd interview someone promising come away thinking to myself:
Smart person. Qualified person. Would never want to hang out independently of work. Don't be shallow, Nate, let's make them an offer.
So I'd hire them... and we'd just never work brilliantly well together.
I'm out hiring again, and I've come to realize that every time I had compromised on culture in the past, things didn't work out the way I hoped.
This time around, I'm going to fight to keep our culture what it is: a group of friends trying to build something truly amazing. If you want to build amazing and you think we may end up as friends during the process, then let's try and work together. Otherwise, let's not try to force it. It's okay, we'll both find a better fit eventually.