We’ve covered the basics of this series in part 1, which you can find here.
This entire series is about structuring your startup in a way that you find success in the way that you define it. Now, this is where it gets tricky. There are different explanations for this. Let’s dig into it.
1. The employee count myth –
In the book Rework, written by Jason Fried and David Hansson, they talk about a company’s growth and how you should scale and when to scale. People measure a company’s success by the number of people working for them, which is clearly the wrong metric. Startups usually find their death when they perform premature hiring, which also lets them skip their appropriate size. And their appropriate size might be 5 people. Growth is supposed to be slow and steady, and not quick like how we see in movies. It isn’t practical, and it won’t work with most startups.
Find your appropriate size, stick with it and strategize your growth slowly. Operating at a small size is a great destination in itself. A ‘5 employees company’ > a ‘100 employees company’ is a myth.
2. Fretting about a business plan in the beginning –
Working on a formal business plan is great. It eats up a lot of time, which you could use to actually sell your product/services. More importantly, most of your “business plan” is just plain guessing. Moreover, long term planning is nothing short of fortune telling, which is a sham.
There are countless conditions which play as factors while deciding where your company is going to be in the future. You cannot possibly live in the delusion that you control all those conditions in your favor. Market size, competitors, the economy, etc., are a few factors which you can’t control. You just have to do what’s best for your startup right now.
How many smartphones do I have to sell to keep my company profitable ? What do I need to do to make that happen ? Now, how do I operate to make those things happen? Once you break everything down into little tasks, a business plan seems like a joke. Sure, it’s fun to impress the investors with that mini-journal which they call a business plan. But, to remain successful, break your war into battles and win them everyday.
3. The employee code –
Back when I used to intern at a startup housed in an incubator, employees of different startups used to stay in for a long time, and tire themselves out. I was always in awe with the fact that they were able to work for so long. More work hours = more productivity, right? Wrong!
Think about it. People who substitute intellectual and efficient work, with brute force work are creating disorganized work, rather than organized work. This way, there will be no efficient solutions to any problem. In fact, they might end up creating a mess. Working overtime isn’t going to get you or your company any productivity. Instead, those employees might create an atmosphere where other employees might feel demoralized just because they aren’t pushing hours. I know because that’s exactly what happened to me.
The term “Workaholic” isn’t something to be proud of. It doesn’t get you glory. You’ll do better if you get off work at 5 pm.
There are a lot more to be said with how to build a successful company. I will cover the rest in the near future, so stay tuned. If you haven’t checked out part 1 of this series, check it out here.
Also, a very happy new year to all of you. We cannot be more grateful for all the love and affection that you’ve shown us. We hope you are having a good start to the year, and will work on being more productive this time. Cheers 🙂