Startups are about people
December 24, 2014

Yesterday, I was reading an article and I came across this quote:

No matter what our job titles, our jobs are all the same — to make the product better for our users. Every day. So let’s do that.

That is indeed a profound thought. The author of the article is a project manager at a SaaS startup in the Silicon Valley.

Just today, I was reading “How Google Works”, a book by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg. They assert, the most important reason for Google’s success has been that they’ve been able to attract the best minds of the world, smart creatives in Google-speak, to come work with them. They say they did this by building the culture where these smart creatives will thrive.

This got me thinking. Startups are only about people — your users and your employees. If the founders just focus on these two aspects of their company, success generally follows. I’m not saying this, Eric Schmidt is.

The surprising thing is, no one ever talks about this. Everyone talks about getting the product market fit, getting initial traction so you can raise funds, keeping the clique up so you get noticed by that investor. No one gives advice on how you can hire the best people for your company. While the former are important, it turns out the latter is critical.

As a first-time founder, it was one of those “Aha!” moments I had when I was out of internet for one good hour and I used that time to complete the book.

Hope the internet goes out more often! (Or not. I need to read more books.)