There’s not a day that goes by in the startup life that is Getir when I do not have a couple of moments of being overwhelmed by all the problems we have. It seems like just the other day we solved that one lingering problem and either it came back out or some even grander problem decided to pay us a visit. Startup problems may be financial, culture-related, or even integral to the core of your business model. So many sorts of problems.
Despite problems being troubling in the beginning, the problem becomes less problematic all of a sudden when you ask yourself the question: “What’s the source of this problem? Why are we facing this now? Why not before?”
I like to categorize startup problems into two categories: problems of non-growth and problems of growth
Problems of Non-Growth
Unfortunately, most startups do not succeed. They do not address a pain point ten times better, they do not create a brand new market, they do not pivot when necessary, and ultimately they do not grow and scale. For most startups, lack of growth is a major cause for concern. The founders have no option but to find solutions to major problems such as rapidly declining morale and a shortening financial runway. Putting a band-aid on the problem will delay the tragic outcome when the reality is that it most probably requires surgery.
Problems of Growth
These are the problems you want to have. The reality is that when founders face these problems, such as “I can’t possibly find the 20 developers I needed yesterday in the span of 2 weeks so we can launch Project X in 2 months,” they forget that these are bittersweet problems. Most startups never even make it here. Problems of Growth include rapidly onboarding dozens of more people into your organization, not fitting in your office, preventing office politics, managing the old vs. the new, and living up to the increasing expectations of your users and shareholders.
At Getir, we are lucky to be facing bittersweet problems. Many successful startups around the world have faced their own versions of the problems we face today. We hope to continue growing and developing ourselves so we can unlock the next set of problems. I personally look forward to problems such as (1) overcoming cultural issues as we become a multi-national company with a presence in multiple geographies, (2) implementing a fair and just compensation methodology as we get to that point where we depend on relatively new hires’ evaluations of even newer hires, (3) having to choose only a few out of many eligible candidates for limited positions, (4) transitioning into more structured and arguably slower forms of communication and project development as the company becomes way too big to depend on relations of proximity, (5) and most importantly upping our game for every New Years party so that it is even more epic than its predecessor. Having fun matters at the startup and transforming that fun and making sure it addresses an increasingly diverse set of people will be challenging, yet incredibly fun at the same time.
We are not a perfect company that has everything figured out. Fortunately, we face Problems of Growth and we hope to continue to face newer and more challenging versions of these problems as we continue to develop ourselves as a startup.