Monday, September 23, 2019

Heading to a straight path isn't always the fastest

When you work in a startup, change is inevitable. Processes get revamped from time to time. Product and platform roadmaps get revisited every now and then. And speed will always be in the center of everything.

Sometimes when you don't see the big picture, it's hard to comprehend and imagine the ripple effect. However, if you trust the process and data, you know things will fold in accordance with the actions you have taken for a given situation. Most people think that following a straight path is the fastest, some even think that this "straight path" exists and so it is the one true way to run a company.

The goal of a startup is to reach the north star the fastest way possible -- which is to be able to close the next round of funding. If that straight path exists for every startup to follow, there will be a lot of startups who could have attained growth and are now profitable. However, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success and so it is just right to say that there is no straight path at all.

Science and math can show you that heading to a straight path isn't always the fastest, though it might be the most convenient. However, as a startup, convenience is not something we should consider -- especially knowing that our life-span is limited and survivability is at stake. Speed is king! Speed trumps it all!

Now, the problem with speed is that not everyone can cope up with the rest. As a leader, what should you do? And how should you go about it?

Quick note: I am no expert when it comes to startups. I am no expert when it comes to management and leadership. However, I would like to share these notes that I have to everyone who's reading this post in the hopes that it'll help you and your team be more successful.

Mindset is everything
As the saying goes, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go further, go with a team". Installing the same understanding to your people saves you from being questioned on every decision you'll be making. Giving people the idea of how startups work, what to keep in mind, and what to focus on will make people realize what roles to play for the plans to work.

Communication brings alignment
People argue about not having the proper structure to be able to execute things well, this is a common complain you'll hear when you're in the startup world. This is why we have to communicate well. The point is to make sure we loop-in everyone especially who are going to be involved in projects, initiatives, changes and etc. Without observing proper communication, people will judge every action based on how they perceive it.

Constant reminders
The only way to improve is to measure how we've performed month to month, week per week, day by day. In the midst of hustling and grinding, people sometimes get lost and get off track. Reminders will serve as everyone's daily fuel -- on top of their personal motivations and inspirations. Don't let people forget what your mission is all about and how your brand is different from the rest.

So far, I've been enjoying the ride I'm having with Onerent. Still, there are many things needed to be done -- and that makes it more exciting.