Part III: The Team
So, after a long way of searching ideas and investors , decision making we have come to the most difficult and interesting stage of our project. There is no turning back now, only forward. And the most important thing now is to bring the right people with us, i.e. to build a great team.
How do you organize a team and infect all members with a common goal? The question that keeps bugging me is, "well, why don’t they get it?" Because first you have to stress and work hard to get results and only then can you think about how it would be to relax. Obviously! Turns out not many people think that way, I’d even say a minority. It turns out that most want everything right now. They don’t care much that you’re at the beginning of your journey right now, that you don’t have the resources to make their life a fairy tale, and that they need to cut back on expenses for a period of time. There is such a thing as "the urge to avoid uncertainty, " and it turns out that most people are as anxious as possible to avoid that very uncertainty.
When working in a startup, the team faces just such uncertainties at every turn. As far as our project is concerned, that’s for sure. We’re bringing a new product to market, no one has done that before, which means it’s hard to understand the value of the product to consumers. In our estimation, it’s valuable, but it’s our estimation, and it’s expensive to do some research. Often we turn to outside opinions to evaluate the service and all of ours. Thank you for the feedback in previous articles, I see that you like that our efforts do not go in vain and we only need to move forward. We work, we communicate with partners, it’s new and unpredictable for them too, the reactions are different too. It’s not like we should turn our noses up at them, because we are still small and not very interesting to everybody. Revenue impossible to calculate: How to build a model if there is nothing to compare and nothing to tie? Accordingly, and the team can not promise anything, at least reasonably calculated. Total uncertainty.
In such circumstances we focus on several directions :
1. The team needs to be constantly motivated by personal example and infected with their optimism.
2. Releases. Break them down into smaller steps to see the result. It took us a while to realize this point, but we did come to it. Before the official launch of the project we identified 5 stages and gradually, achieving each goal, we felt that we are moving forward, not standing still.
3. Yes, you have to promise and promise golden mountains. But you don’t have to make empty promises. I approach the matter cautiously and promise what I can provide if all goes well. The uncertainty is there, but there is no getting rid of it definitively.
4. communication outside of work and at work, we try to make it as open as possible. For example, when we rented an office, we did our own renovations. We could have hired people and our losses would have been minimal, given the total cost and length of time to repair by our efforts. We did everything ourselves except for the specialized work with electricity and computer networking.
Here’s our repair and crew in person :
You know, but we really got to know each other and understood who is who, and on whom we can rely. As an example, a man recently left us, and simply set us up. He was the only one who never once came to help. We expected something like that, but not so fast.
The main thing I realized is that you don’t have to give in to the momentary impulse and take the first more or less suitable specialist on the team. The person must really fit you if you want to work side by side with him or her. A startup has a problem – it’s a small and unknown company, so it’s very difficult to attract people. This process takes longer than for a big name company, but it’s disastrous for you to take everybody. Right now, I can say that we are almost fully staffed at our company. People are interesting and talented, which for me is always a pleasure to note. It’s interesting to work with such people, but it’s also difficult because everyone has his own opinion on every issue and it’s not easy to find a compromise. I say that we are almost staffed, because appetite comes with the game, i.e. we want more and more, and the amount of work is only increasing. I would like to note that we are trying to approach new tasks in a balanced manner, so we periodically conduct tests to determine our performance, identify inefficiencies and solve them. Of course, there is no limit to perfection : we are constantly working on it, and we understand that we still have a lot of reserves in the team, but we are struggling with it in a focused way. I advise everyone to pay attention to labor productivity and do periodic monitoring, in addition, in our practice we have a good practice of internal training, when the leaders in performance pull up the lagging.
Time is the most valuable factor in our work, despite the fact that our service has no direct competitors, all the same customers want and ask for development, rapid development, new services, new interiors, new partners, etc. We want to provide our clients with full service, so that they could transfer a picture to their home from the comfort of their own home by pushing one button. We learn to value time, for example, all kinds of meetings and appointments are an obvious time eater. The introduction of simple and long-rumored rules in the management books makes it possible to conspicuously save time. For example, preparing a list of issues to be discussed even before the meeting, a letter at the end of the meeting with decisions made and responsible executors and deadlines. After these simple measures our discussion has ceased to go into the air, i.e. each meeting already brings changes in work. I also discovered that watching movies like "Pirates of Silicon Valley" and "The Social Network" together has a good positive effect – it motivates everyone and helps them prioritize.
People can both boost your project and ruin it, be careful! Good luck!
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Part III: The Team