Legacy, Talent Density, and what we learned from Netflix

Khaled Kteily
4 min readJul 5, 2021

Talent Density is a phrase I first learned from reading “No Rules Rules” by Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings. And it was affirming to see that he subscribes by a rule that I hold very dear as well: always increase talent density.

Talent density is about maximizing the ratio of talent per employee, and increasing the % of high performance employees over time. As Reed writes,

In all creative roles, the best is easily ten times better than average. The best publicity expert can dream up a stunt that attracts millions more customers than the average one.”

But hiring the best of the best is not always possible when you are early in your startup’s journey. In our case, our high growth rate and the validation of investors like Y Combinator, FirstMark Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and Section32, all played a role in helping open us up to a new pool of talent.

I believe talent density is the oxygen of a startup, where everyone’s role changes every 3–6 months, and you’re “giving away your Legos” more frequently than you expected. As a result, you can’t hire people for the job to be done today, but rather, for the talent, versatility, and ability to scale needed to adapt to the jobs to be done in the future.

Most importantly, increasing talent density has a compounding effect, because high-talent individuals only want to work with other high-talent individuals. As the mantra goes, “A players hire A players”, because they want to be challenged and grow, while “B players hire C players”, because they want to feel smarter than the people they want to manage. This can become a virtuous or vicious cycle, which is why it’s been one of my biggest focuses in hiring: “Does this person increase the overall talent density at the company?”

What I particularly appreciate about Legacy is that we’ve been able to do this while also being true to another core belief: that diversity — real, genuine diversity, not just the staged, multi-racial photos you see on TV — is one of the keys to success.

For example, the Legacy team, despite being a male fertility company, has a team that is majority female. The team is majority immigrant, from countries like Belarus, Brazil, and Bangladesh. 15% of the team identifies as LGBTQIA+, a number that will continue to go up as we continue to focus on inclusivity.

The Legacy Team in L.A. — over 50% female, over 50% immigrant!

This matters, because folks who come from diverse backgrounds don’t feel tokenized or marginalized by their source of diversity, and high-performers feel like they are working at the same level as their peers! And during our most recent team retreat, in sunny L.A., we discussed ways to keep growing our talent density and ensuring we maintain the genuine diversity that is one of our core strengths.

If you’re reading this because you’ve thought about joining Legacy and want to know who you’d be working with, I want to highlight just a few of our hires from the past few months:

  1. Sarina Richard. A graduate of HBS, Sarina grew up between Texas and Singapore, “ate her vegetables” working at Bain & Merrill Lynch, among others, and has founded 4 companies (of which she sold 3). And as a new mom, she understands better than most the fertility journey for couples.
  2. Kelly Eppard. She understands consumer health deeply, most recently at SmileDirectClub for 4 years, playing a big role intheir journey to IPO. In a previous life, she was a blackjack dealer after getting her black belt in karate. Today, she lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
  3. Stephanie Keller. You might get her on the phone when you call in for a consult. She joined Legacy from Brigham & Women’s, where she helped set up their men’s health department. She’s a fertility specialist with over a decade of experience and is the only person on the team with penile implant expertise.
  4. Brian Ventura, who is Afro-Latinx, of Harvard College & Harvard Business School, having most recently worked in product at OWL Labs, and now brings a product mindset, a beautiful voice, and (allegedly) fantastic baking skills to the team.
  5. Dr. Paul Simon, who received his PhD in male fertility & human biology at McGill University, spent years working as a health & life sciences consultant, and now heads up our operations. As a proud Frenchman, he trains us on the right way to buy a croissant.

As we grow, we will continue to increase our talent density, and we’ll do so in a way that’s authentic to our values.

If you’re thinking about joining the team, we’re hiring — take a look!



Khaled Kteily

Khaled is the Founder & CEO of Legacy. Prev. at Harvard, the World Economic Forum, and UN Women.