I wanted to share these ” how-not-to tips ” for startups since long. Because I feel there are enormous amount of advises to make your startup ideal like Apple or Google or any other already successful giant company. But that’s not going to help at this level at all.
As physics for nano sized particles and physics for giga scaled stars are different, ways of operation at light-weight startups and already established heavy-weight corporate players differ a lot. You cannot apply everything (or most of the things) that facebook (or any other ‘big guy’) does to their business. You simply cannot be like the thing people are crazy about by doing what the thing is doing right now. Because you are focusing on later stages at where that company is mature while you being in womb. There were many events that helped me understand what and why the things went wrong.
Focus on one thing at a time
Nano particles are super excited and super charged to do everything at once :D. But there is a concept called focus because of which laser can pierce almost anything. While the freedom these particles have is important, it is more important to channel their energies and focus to a single aim, which should be as small as possible, at a time.
Big picture in your mind is always blurry, delusional and totally different than what actual big picture would be. Because that big picture in your perception has many elements on which you haven’t thought in details. It’s when you go into details, things start looking messy and intricate yet real. This is why some people who only dream want to dream only.
Because reality makes them pick their responsibilities to change the current reality.
So whatever your startup is planning to do at the end, focus on few things which are in the hands and that will lead you to happy ending (truly speaking there isn’t any end and that’s the thrill).
- Set tasks to do for a day for your team according to capacity of the members.
- Evaluate performance by checking efficiency of your team in completing tasks at hand, weekly and monthly.
- Make things narrow and focus on completing few tasks a week with full efforts.
Haha, this is funny because it really is! Being practical will help you and your team see things clearly. Yet few people like me want to set things up emotionally. I have made mistakes by drowning into emotional-whirlpool and learnt many things by lack of oxygen down there. Few lessons are as below:
- Set objectives clear that what exactly is expected from each member.
- Make sure everybody knows their responsibilities in the team.
- Get people to focus on a single vision instead on a vision everybody agrees upon.
- Draw clear lines which no one should cross.
- Don’t be afraid to say ‘bye bye’ to people whose vision misaligned with company’s vision.
Appreciate people wisely
This one is not as easy as it sounds. Everybody loves to be praised and appreciated. But when things go wrong people have to hear some unpleasant words clearly and directly. Don’t talk round and round to be cool. If you can’t tell your people what are your expectations of them and what are their liabilities believe me you don’t have to have them at all. The field we are talking about is like a battlefield where you are supposed to kick asses instead of licking them.
- Don’t giveaway titles too early. They don’t mean anything yet are so powerful.
- Give credit to people (member or non-member) who do actual work without being afraid of what other non-productive guys will think about it.
- Words are powerful. When you say something good to people who put efforts, pour words from heart. Don’t show appreciation just because you have to but because you mean it.
- Never betray loyal and hard working people. If your company can’t keep them, help them get to some other place. Use your contacts, help them with your network.
- And keep in mind that no work is small or big. If work of a watchman at your company makes you happy, hug him, show that you care, call him by his name followed by “Mr.”.
Keep your decision-cycle active and as short as possible
Decision making is the first difficult thing you have to learn (though you won’t be able to learn it fully ever). Some decision would be easy to take but will costs a lot later and some decision would take a bit time but will make things easier in future, choose the latter one. Following are the things to focus while making any decision:
Gather and research enough information before your take your decision.See if you have enough data to make particular decision. Once you have it, do it.
- Sources of information you use to take decisions should be as accurate as possible.
- Decide clearly and make sure people know what exactly that decision means.
- Don’t decide what majority of people say, instinct plays incredible role sometime.
- Must decide one from these: accept it or postpone it or reject it. Postponing should have due date on which decision should be revised. Rejection should have clear reason of dumping that idea or suggestion. Make this process quick, don’t overthink.
Problems would come, they are inevitable in any universe but giving up isn’t the solution most of the time.
If you want to add something to content above, please spare a moment to share your experience via comments.