Founder's Letter to His Employees: Putting in 8 Hrs vs Working in an Entrepreneurial Environment
Venky Rajendran is the co-founder/CEO for SellerGro. This is an email he sent to new joinees of his team coming from large corporate environments to help them understand what it takes to work in an entrepreneurial environment.
Dear New Joinees,
Something has been on my mind recently regarding what it takes to work in an entrepreneurial venture vs a traditional large company. All of us come from different organizations and I understand sometimes it is hard to understand the work culture in our office. An entrepreneurial environment includes startups, small businesses, Large companies like Google, 3M etc. and of course SellerGro.
These are some attributes I can think of to get in to an ‘Entrepreneurial’ Cultural Fit.
One company I know of leaves an empty chair in all meetings. This is for the customer. This is to ask themselves what is the benefit of what they are doing for the customer. Entrepreneurial co want everything they do to be customer driven. Corp guys may do things often to benefit their dept or team or themselves.
Showstoppers on the way:
Entrepreneurial guys recognize every userstory/task would lead to an unexpected problem on the way. A traditional dinosaur company employee communicates the problem to the manager at the end of the day in an email and leaves for the day. An entrepreneurial guy identifies the problem early in the morning, thinks of solutions, either solves it or shows his manager how to solve it and gets feedback.
No Time Sheets:
A traditional company employee will show the user stories/tasks/hours he spent time at the end of the week. An entrepreneurial employee will show how many stories he accomplished and moved to production with zero priority defects. A startup guy instinctively knows that the team benefited because of him that week. Just like any game, a team player how much he scored at the end of the game towards the team’s success?
Solution vs Meetings:
An entrepreneurial thinker will take on projects and submit solutions. A corporate guy replies with a lot more questions, meetings and documents which just summarize discussions and findings without a real solution/recommendation.
An entrepreneurial guy walks over & talks to his colleagues, friends and people who know different bits of the answer and creates a final solution. A corporate guy calls for meetings after meetings to serve management requirements.
Delivery Vs Demo:
A corporate guy works based on things he knows & comes up with a mgmt demo which can’t serve real customer needs. The Startup guy develop solutions that can be deployed in production (may not be perfect but may still serve customers).
A startup guy continuously learns and educates his team. A traditional corp guy sometime learns a technology & keeps it a secret from his colleagues as job security.
Master of all trades:
An entrepreneurial guy learns all related skills(design, html, development, testing, deployment etc) in the company to certain extent. He jumps in to help when there is a related problem. A corporate guy doesn’t know or care to learn skills outside his job function.
A corporate guy works to earn his salary. An entrepreneurial guy works to add value to his team & to earn a salary based on the value he adds.
A corporate guy works for the company, an entrepreneurial guys works for himself, his respect, his dignity & to feel good at the end of the day about himself. As a result of this, an entrepreneurial guy is self motivated and driven by passion works the same, whether his manager is around or not. A corporate guy work output varies based on his manager’s presence that day.
Pretty much all CEOs of successful Growth phase companies I know of are entrepreneurial. If you are an entrepreneurial guy success can’t be denied to you even in an corp. A right manager will recognize you and take you along. Since SellerGro is an entrepreneurial startup, we love entrepreneurial guys.