Team first, Culture next.. Product Last!
Startup Founders aren’t geniuses. They’re just incredibly passionate people with insane ambitions who surround themselves with awesome people and give them freedom to express themselves.
As Robin Sharma once quoted
“Revolution begins by starting something that doesn’t end with you!”
It has been one hell of a journey for me, having tried my hand at things ranging from movie-making to social networking to e-commerce. Along the way, I met all sorts of crazy people, including world class entrepreneurs, and have realized that the best way to learn is to do.
In life, you only get to work on a handful of things, and you will be very lucky if one of those things actually change the way things happen.
When i started thinking about building Neuron, I was very sure about the people i wanted to work with, because I knew that when great people come together, magnificent things can happen.
This is why you, as a startup founder, must focus on building a great team first. Your co-founder doesn’t necessarily have to be an Ex-Google or Ex-Microsoft, or a graduate of an Ivy League school. What really matters is, if he/she is inspired by the vision for the company that you have to an extent that they can leave the stability to continue with you.
According to me, a great team is a combination of the following:
1. Jack of all trades, and master of some.
2. A stubborn refusal to quit.
3. And mostly the ones who play to their strengths.
I found my team just like above, Aaditya my co-founder (Ex-Sales Head at MTS) and a college friend, is a great learner who never thinks about quitting. Nitin, our CTO is an experienced Tech person who plays to his strengths in creating the most robust architecture possible with the most advanced algorithm.
Ankit & Shobhit are the backbone of our company- our back-end ninja’s who are fluent with all aspects of programming. The content & social media team includes creative people like Fateh and Ritu who’re working to create engaging content for our readers and build compelling social media campaigns. Also, we’ve recently added Sharon, an old friend who works on testing the entire platform.
The foundation of the startup culture are the founders, and the early employees are the pillars, because, ultimately, culture is all about people. Culture is also perhaps the most important factor for attracting fresh talent.
So when it comes to culture, the only thing that pops up in my mind is Legacy. What we leave behind for our future employees is what will define our culture. To sum up, we define our culture in following ways:
1. We are pissing off Big Brands:
No one ever appreciates the fact that a startup is building a tool to piss off some big networks. In our case it is all the social networks. Our tool, we’ve been told, is cutting down the revenue stream of all these businesses/brands. Yes, we are, but we’re building this tool to make users happy, not to appease other networks.
So when you see a tool like ours, trust me, even if we are pissing off a big brand, we are making it easy for people to sell stuff on social networks by advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence.
2. We don’t hire, we collaborate:
We don’t believe in hiring people to work for us. Instead, we believe in collaborating with people who are willing to work with us. There’s a huge difference: the ones who work for us are working for the money, but the ones who are willing to work with us are working for the cause, they work for why we exist, they believe what we believe in.
3. Think Freely, Innovate Rapidly:
We firmly believe in the fact that culture is what remains. In the future, people will know us for our culture.
Our culture is pretty simple, ‘Think freely & Innovate rapidly’ .
We take it pretty seriously. Product may change and team may change, but culture will remain and so will our investment in culture.
4. We are not focusing on Revenues:
Unlike all the marketing tools out there, we plan to go freemium. We don’t know how our company will make money, there are a few ways we can, but we don’t want to focus on it right now. What we are focusing on right now is to build a super awesome tool for businesses to segment their audience based on their interests and intent to buy.
We just want to make sales cool again. Revenues can come later.
5. We are here to stay for a long time:
Though exits are what every investor seeks to & we appreciate it as the creators, but we see it as an amazing tool lasting for years to come. We’re not willing to hand it over to someone just yet.
Our team isn’t finished, yet, and the current version of Neuron is only the first iteration and the first step to the mission that I started on- optimizing the money e-commerce companies spend on social media. We have a long way to go yet, and we need other awesome people to work with us and help us realize our goal. So if you’re interested in joining our startup, drop us a line and let’s have a chat.
Also, if you are building a startup, just remember “Team First, Culture Next and Product Last.”
P.S. Thought the article is meant for sharing who we are and what we stand for, we mean all what we have said here. But yes, we love your support and if you want to get in touch with us, just tweet to us @Neuronme or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org