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Jay Kinker - Entrepreneur, Strategist, Technologist
How do you really define a start up? Is it because of:
• Duration
• Number of employees
• Valuation
• Professional management team and business model or some other reason?

Secondly, what are you doing to ensure that you remain stable, reduce your risk of operation and get out of the startup mania to concentrate on right areas? What are you doing to build a self-sustaining growing team and business?

I rarely see business owners giving time to such topics. You can always get things done if you pay weather it’s from your employee or outsource to someone else. I have seen companies with 100+ employees – 5+ year old and still behaving like a startup. In one instance I saw 250+ people company and ~10 year old working as a startup. So, what should you really do to get out of the startup phase? Here are some points that I could think of:

Team:
You can’t really assemble few guys in a room and call them team. This takes time, requires mentoring and training before you have a resilient, confident and performing team. At no stage can you take it lightly. It’s never expendable. I have seen companies loosing key employees because they became too expensive, promises during interviews were not met, do not see growth, manager, etc. Irrespective of reason it’s the management who has to be careful and vigilant to ensure team is intact. An employee can’t really be replaced by another hire all the time. Many times there is so much IP involved which can’t be handed over or regained in short span of time. In an organization, there is place for all types of resource. It’s about keeping right heads at right position with right motivation.

A company who is not able to retain their key people and retain their team will always remain startup.

Company culture:
Every employee is part of this unconsciously. This includes the kind of people you are hiring, what interpersonal qualities you value, how good work is appreciated, how motivated your team is, etc. Leaders of the company impact this most. So often you would see people joining at less salary and smaller company because they were more comfortable and confident in that company.

How happy is your last man:
Leaders should remain in touch and accessible to the last man. You can never have a successful ecosystem until the last man is happy and delivering. Someone who is performing or vocal is always visible. A leader should be able to see beyond those people, remain accessible, take their feedback and take corrective steps.

Think beyond current projects:
As a leader, business owner or manager, you must see beyond current set of projects. It is very easy to get occupied or over occupied with current engagements. You should invest in future, upcoming technologies, keeping yourself updated with your business domain and reuse.

Processes:
This is extremely important and missing from startups. It’s not about ISO and CMM but to streamline your processes in everything you do. It’s about removing person dependencies and doing the same task with same or better quality and remain predictable.

Standardization:
A company must standardize their production/development work. This also helps in reusing, maintaining quality and achieving predicable results.
Posted on Saturday, April 23, 2011 2:27 AM Whatever... , Management | Back to top


Comments on this post: Are you a startup?... Even after 5 years of execution?

# re: Are you a startup?... Even after 5 years of execution?
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Thanks for post. It's interesting for me.
Left by coursework on Apr 23, 2011 3:05 AM

# re: Are you a startup?... Even after 5 years of execution?
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It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here!
Left by Louis vuitton outlet on Apr 27, 2011 12:29 PM

# re: Are you a startup?... Even after 5 years of execution?
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interesting question and answer :)
Left by Jakaski on May 04, 2011 3:01 PM

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