Photo: Samba Tech
Bloomspot is just at the point when the number of our team members might cause someone to say that we are no longer a “little startup.”So we are doing a bunch of thinking around how to avoid that from becoming the case, by which I mean continue to be a company at which every person feels passionate about the company, works like crazy, gets a massive amount done, never has meetings – all the things that make a little startup great.
Certainly, there are the big important things that are commonly discussed: ensuring everyone understands the big mission, giving every person enormous responsibility, ensuring people can act autonomously without fear of failure. For the fun of it, however, I thought I would describe some of the seemingly little things that we believe are important:
Sitting Really, Really Close Together
Generally, we all sit really physically close together, along long tables. This is how we started, and we haven’t changed. I’ve started to sit in the sales team area, which is a bit more spread out because people need to make calls, but generally it is shoulder to shoulder. I actually think maintaining the physical appearance of a start up office is important and needs to be thought about.
Not Using Titles and Departments
When possible, we are avoiding organising ourselves using departments and titles. Our sales and engineering teams are “departments,” but the vast majority of other tasks – marketing, product, finance, PR – we are accomplishing by assigning super talented people from a pool of all stars to accomplish particular projects. Certainly some people gravitate to certain areas, but we don’t permanently formalise those assignments. For the most recent person we hired, I gave them the title “Product & Marketing Innovation Team Member.”
Doing Two Full Company 15 Minute Stand Ups Per Week
To be really specific, we do a full company stand up for 15 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:45. For some reason, that’s seems just exactly right for us. We have various people responsible for initiatives talk for about 5 minutes. If we did it more, that would feel too process heavy. If we did it less, I think people would feel disconnected.
The team has really gotten a lot out of lunch book club – reading about topic relevant to the business, such as consumer psychology. Somehow the idea of a book club, which involves group learning in a sharing environment, nicely captures what we want our company to feel like.
Good luck getting tiny fast.
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