How trust is built in startups

This tweet from Simon Sinek made me think of startup teams, and how what Simon says apply to them. Where does trust come from? I asked myself what made me trust my peers at TVTY. I trust them like crazy — all of them. I don’t care about their experience, performance, seniority. My trust in them is rooted in their intellectual integrity.

At any stage, a startup spends a lot of time discovering things: what the market needs, why and how; how to deal with many users who don’t expect the exact same thing… Innovation requires a great deal of humility about the fact that nobody knows exactly what to do to succeed. Try and learn, all day, everyday. Build, destroy after a while, re-build. This holds true for all teams, from engineering to sales and marketing.

In this context, everybody keeps trying/searching/learning. Well, this is exactly where peer trust is rooted in for me. I trust someone when they are honest about the outcome of their try/search is. We all have to accept that we don’t know, we don’t have the answers — even if we’ve seen stuff in past jobs, in online reads, even though we think we’re smarter. The reality of the market trumps smart. It’s necessary to take guesses, make assumptions. Try them, eventually the market is the final judge: listen carefully to what it says and be honest about it.

Intellectual integrity is like daily exercise. Everyone knows it’s very good, essential even. Everyone has it on their to do list somewhere. But we all think we can afford not doing it. We easily get lazy about it. But if you lack intellectual integrity in your ideas/execution, you will cost a lot, in time and money.


Originally published at www.boardobservers.com on August 18, 2015.