8 weeks at a startup

May 13, 2023

So it’s been 8 weeks since my new and exciting job at Langoor Digital [yes yes, let's get over the monkey jokes now.. after all, we are into monkey business!].I just wanted to capture some salient points on what I’ve learnt in this time here, as well as reminisce on the months past (2 to be precise):1. You aren’t here to do just XYZ…… or maybe you are? I mean, though you get hired with a job description, at a startup all work is fair game. There isn’t anything I haven’t done since I got here. These include cleaning the office (a side-benefit of coming to work early), attending the company phone line, setting up a project management server, organizing the team and trying to get them to go Agile.2. It is about the people…… and by the people and for the people. In such a small setup, people matters are what matter. You cannot ignore one member of the team or let them feel less inclusive. This would cost you dear. One must also leave their ego at home, and learn from others around.Start-ups generally try to hire the smartest talent, which in turn is bound to make someone unhappy (for whatever reason.. who said smart people are always sane / emotionally stable?). Each start-up must have a good people-binder to keep things rolling as well as keep the team together (not as easy as it sounds).3. You must play…… not necessarily fair, especially when it’s a game of Jenga!A team that plays together stays together (corny, I know), but oh-so-true. There is a lot of pressure to deliver, given tight budgets and deadlines. But it’s absolutely important critical that there is some fun and games thrown in for good measure. Helps the team break ice (especially if a lot of folks were hired around the same time) and also reduce stress all around.4. The whole is more than sum of it’s partsAs a small team, it’s easier to move in tandem. It’s easy to mobilise the team to work in a direction, and get things done sooner than later. Thus we are more adaptable to the market as well as to change.It has been fun, all in all, out here. There is a lot more ahead, lets see how that goes.