After our last post about entrepreneur lessons we’ve learned from Steve Jobs, I got to thinking about some other lessons I’ve learned while working for a startup.
Our generation has seemingly replaced the vernacular small business with startup. From the dry cleaner to the bakery, every new small business is a startup today. To me, we all have certain growth modes we go through, whether it’s a mobile tech business or even a business that doesn’t use a single piece of mobile technology.
Ive been at Interapt for two years now, and Ive really enjoyed the flexibility and agility of working for a startup. I dont miss the bureaucracy and layers of approvals inherent to the corporate world. All of our companys decision-makers are already sitting in every meeting I have, so our speed to market is directly affected by the ability to get quick answers and make deliberate, quick decisions. I view that speed as one inherent advantage of startups.
In a startup, I have much more one-on-one interaction with our clients, and together, were merging their vision of what they want to accomplish with our vision of how to develop their solution. Many clients are still trying to figure out how to utilize mobile technologies, and thanks to our closely-knit team, were able to give them solid guidance.
My startup situation is unique, in that Im working in mobile apps–an industry that didnt even exist a decade ago. Its unlike any other startup industry in that innovation occurs swiftly, and its impact is immediate and profound. Moreover, those at the forefront of mobile tech innovation often pave the way for other businesses to expand or improve their current business model using mobile apps. As an example, think of how products like Square changed the game for countless small businesses that now have a quick and easily implemented way to process credit card transactions in virtually any setting.
In a perfect world, you enjoy and respect the people you work with in your startup. I have that here at Interapt. We feed off of each others energy and we work as a real team. Corporate environments will talk about teamwork, but its because their morale is so poor, theyre trying to convince people theres teamwork. With us, its genuine. We all do several jobs and play several roles, teach each other, challenge each other and deliver our best work, and thats how we like it.
Ive found that in the more corporate environments, its easy to fake it because theres less accountability overall. Sure you might have performance reviews, but overall an employee becomes a number and your metrics are analyzed by corporate decision-makers at most on a quarterly basis. In a startup, you have to bring your A-game from day one, and if you dont have it on a weekly basis, the team will recognize it and call you out on it.
When you love what you do and you buy into your companys shared vision, it doesnt matter how many hours you put into it. Its not hard to want to work. The drive is always there to do your best. I am always motivated to get faster, stronger, bigger, and better. I really enjoy that part of working for a startup, and Im a better person and employee because of it.