Every startup has a core team, consisting of the founders (or just the founder) plus other key early employees. The core team members are those who have displayed the intelligence, high learning ability, passion and appropriate skill-set required for a startup assignment. They are people with a successful track record, relevant experience and good educational background.
But, the very same successful track-record, many times comes in the way of “unlearning and re-learning” that is essential in a startup environment. And that happens when some team members play majority of their new roles with old rules.
The following rules apply to you if you are building the core team or are part of a core team, because in a new startup, different laws apply.
New rules (GO WIN THE GAME)
- Be open to learning and influences. Build fresh perspectives.
- Go on a journey to build things from scratch, build them block by block.
- Think fresh and think fundamental; understand a problem in ways which was never done before and then create a novel solution.
You surely have a rich set of experience, knowledge, contacts and education. You must use it as source of reference to help you do a fantastic job. But its very important that you:
- Adapt the past learning to the current context before applying it.
- Don’t skip any steps while analyzing problems or building solutions, thinking that you have done similar stuff and don’t need to repeat.
- Continue to take a fresh look at things with the new context in mind and not let the past cloud your vision.
Old rules (OFTEN LEAD TO FAILURES – DON’T PLAY BY THEM)
- The methods which brought me success in past will continue to apply without any change or adapting.
- I have enough knowledge, no more learning required for me. I will apply my existing knowledge and make the venture a success.
- During my days as part of the middle/junior layer, I have been part of teams who have executed many challenging assignments and built things bottom up. Now that I am part of the top management and I will build things “Top down” and the junior and middle layers will worry about the middle and bottom part.