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A place to share experiences in building Software-as-a-Service.

What is the other guy in the office doing?

by Sebastien Mirolo on Tue, 25 May 2010

Coming up with innovative technology is an art. Building an actual product out of that technology is an art. Making money out of that product is an art. In every case, there are plenty of opportunities to screw-up along the way but as the saying goes: "Smithing makes the smith. Sailing makes the sailor. Cooking makes the cook. Tailoring makes the tailor". At some point you need to jump in the unknown and start doing; practical experience will come with the years. Nonetheless, failing because "we did not know" is not an excuse. The ones that succeed are always the ones that can draw on the experience of others. When given a situation, they will obtain the technical advantage from their accumulated knowledge. Experience is a guide, not a master.

High tech ventures are amongst the riskiest human activities to start because they rely on an eclectic bunch of artists pushing through the unknown together. As a result, the first and foremost task of any start-up is to turn the herd into a team. Yes, bar hoping and late night coding sessions under deadline pressure create bonds between people and is a very effective way to turn a homogeneous group of people into a team.

The main issue to recognize is that any start-up will only stand a chance if it can turn a group of people with welding their different backgrounds, aspirations and responsibilities into a team. This needs to be achieved through respect and mutual understanding. It requires everyone to learn the basics of different roles and engage in different levels within an organization.

As an example, there is clear and readily accessible material that could open your eyes to the work of legal and marketing people. Some business strategy acronyms are also worth understanding.