I posted this question on LinkedIn.
Tell me 3 things you have learned while working in a startup.
- Find people to work with who are able to work and think in procedures but don’t need said procedures to be set up and carved in stone yet.
- Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated in the day to day business too much but keep the long game in mind. If things are constantly moving it is easy to forget what you already achieved and only worry about all the things that yet have to come together.
- Don’t ever expect a regular 9 to 5 with strictly distributed responsibilities – get done what needs to get done.
1/ Keeping a level and grounded head is more important than at a big company, because the wins will feel better but the loses will feel worse.
2/ No task is too big or too small for anyone to do. Check egos at the door.
3/ Ask questions when involved in cross-functional meetings if you’re unsure of something. You’ll be leading those meetings before too long, and will need to know things beyond your specific domain expertise
1. Have a product or service that brings value you believe in
2. Have the “right people on the bus”
3. Make incremental progress daily, even when the outlook is bleak.
1. Produce Outcomes – Product
2. Team with shared vision
3. Process is important BUT product > process
1. There is always a way; hire people who are curious, caring, relentless
2. Good – fast – cheap can all be had, but it requires exacting focus and company-wide buy-in and engagement
3. The details are the thing, and none will be too small
1. Founders aligned on values and goals will keep momentum when the current flows against you.
2. Smart engineers can make it even better than you thought.
3. Discovery/doing something never previously done is a great feeling.
1. Understand ongoing risks. It can be a journey (non linear & uncertain for sure). Anticipate/expect as best you can big shifts in both good and bad days. Both are required.
2. Respect urgency and being prepared. Stress-test the hell out of load bearing deliverables like audits, filings, SW implementations, validations, etc. Seek multi dept employee input/help with reviewing these. There are a lot of smart creatives in startups; most all willing to contribute and make an impact. Few problems can withstand the assault of sustained and collective thinking.
3. Lightning can strike (if the company is ready). Often at very unexpected times. Higher powers are usually pulling the levers; ie exit, etc. Stay aware and laser focused on achieving all financing milestones. Keep the faith that something great will happen due to all the amazing hard work that’s been/being put in.
A solid management team is required to allow and support all of the above, all of the time.
7 med tech startups for me. (3 acquisitions, 3 IPOs)
Great post Tiger!