Prodio DesignWorks
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Prodio DesignWorks

Culture Decides Choice of Employees Clients & Projects

This lockdown has been a great time for introspection on what we’re doing and why.

Back in 2017, after two years of running a product development firm , and running 10 years of business, I was drawing some conclusions on what it meant to be a ceo founder of your own business.

It was clear to me the ceo was the main HR guy , making sure right guys got into the business. Everyone knows about the clarity that needs to crystallise as strategy and people needed to execute the strategy and people work in a existing organisation culture and culture is a conundrum of structure & people interacting to produce that culture.

Its been 3 years since then — I brought all the DevOps tools- JIRA, bitbucket, codacy, invision, bitrise, pipelines for CI/CD, trello, slack, and a couple of more tools and proud to say the structure is so clear that our ex-employees call us from their new work places to regret the loose culture they land up into.

The other part of the equation — people , we made a rough expectation from 1st to 4th year employee , set out as below

The underlying idea was inspired from the original Netflix Culture slide I’d read and almost intuitively grasped that as the reason for mediocrity of my first startup. I was determined not to let Prodio ever get stuck in that mediocrity.

Unfortunately , the crop of 2015–16–17 was already with us and it was ageing with it’s natural limitations coming out. We let it thin out and with even more accelerated pace after our biggest client Viacom announcing departure from us in april 2019. We don’t fire , but we let people go on their own as time passed and untill lockdown arrived where only the core survived.

No motivation, coaching , feedbacks, reviews and helping people change is part of Prodio hiring process, because I think it does not work. Rather than being stuck in the corporate bullshit , the metaphor of being on a stream of time on a small boat and picky about who you take on the boat is more appropriate way of dealing.

We need a small hyper capable alpha team not labour arbitrage team on billing.

And so just before the lock down we had a fully articulated FSD entry funnel and the idea that from the point of this to the first 4 years is actually a rejection funnel.

Though we came up with the word Rejection Funnel much later, i think the core intuition is the same as Netflix or Google hiring processes.

Its alright to loose 10 good candidates than get one bad one inside the organisation

I guess it is the basic tenet of building any highly agile alpha teams — mossad, RAW, commandos, 10X dev teams or Netflix/Goog or humble Prodio.

Don’t let the wrong kind of team mate get in, or he’ll get in the way of everybody executing.

Don’t let the wrong kind of client get in, or you’ll have to make series of compromises.

Don’t let the wrong kind of project get in, or ditto…



A product design firm that makes good products. Saves founder asses from bad strategy. Doesn’t behave like a tech vendor. Behaves like a tech co-founder. Tells it like it is. Unscrews you.

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Kaushal Trivedi

|| Product Designer, Tech Entrepreneur, Trader, ब्राह्मण ||