Some Startup Culture Mistakes


Remember, the startup culture is critical to the success of a startup. You need to create a culture if you want to be in the market forever. But there are some mistakes in building culture.

In this post, you will know more about these mistakes.

Therefore try to prevent when you want to build a startup culture as a startup.

Founders think startup culture just “happens.”

Maybe you think startup culture can be fixed later.

Once you want to build a startup everything takes a backseat to get MVP.

You need to know that “culture” is another way of saying “how we work”.

When you get to your MVP, startup culture will be deeply entrenched.

Some founders never took the time to define the startup culture and they felt it is too “cheesy”. But when their company grows, the culture of their company will get diluted.

You can shape your startup culture while you build your MVP rather than waiting to define it. You don’t need to write a complex culture, just simply write five words that describe your startup culture and once a month discussing whether those words are still appropriate.

Founders only hire their friends

High level of trust is a critical point when you want to hire for a startup. As a founder, you need your team to believe in you and your vision, work hard and make the right decisions. Therefore, you can look for people from your existing network.

As you know the teams are homogenous communicate better. But it can quickly lead to trouble.

For example, a startup was launched, but this startup was hit with a lawsuit due because the general counsel of this startup was the brother of the co-founder.

You can establish the rules of engagement early on that contains what happens in a worst-case scenario to avoid these type of problems. You need to plan into the existing culture about how you’re going to integrate people.

Founders think hiring lots of people means success.

Success at a startup can be so rare in the first months so celebrating is so important. The size of your team is easy to understand.

The founder of a famous startup noted he impressed people when he told them how big the company was and he was proud to share it. But the startup brought on lots of people, too fast and they were forced to lay off about 11% of the company.

Track more accurate measures of success and protect the morale of your team and find some ways to celebrate small success regularly.

Compete with other startups by spending too much money on perks.

Maybe as you know a common Silicon Valley practice is bribing employees. They attempt to get more work out of employees by meditation classes, and laundry service. But these bribes don’t come cheap. For example, when funds of VC decreased, they forced to cancel its free shuttle and limit free meals

Try to give your team meaningful work if you want your team to do their best work, regardless of your compensation budget. Once they find out how their work is impacting the startup and how the startup is making a difference in the world, they will work better. You need just give them purpose. The purpose doesn’t have to be a service or product that saves the world, have a mission and compelling vision is sufficient.

Work hard and spend long hours at the office as a startup cultural.

When you begin to build a startup, outrageous goals and long hours are part of the agreement. But this doesn’t mean push too hard because it can be caused to trouble.

For instance, at a startup obsession with performance metrics, long hours and “aggressive” deadlines led to a talent drain, and even hampered its ability to acquire companies. If you want to help your team manage workload and stress levels hold regular check-ins with them and also try to check-in with the founder.

According to reports, about 30% of founders report being depressed.

Finally, spend some weekends and long nights at this office is not a bad decision but never try to make it a cultural norm.

Hire talent people without any focus on their behavior.

As you know, hiring smart people is highly competitive. Assume you accept their productivity and their superior skill set, but their personality will destroy your team culture. For instance, I worked with an executive whose attitude turned the rest of the team against him. He protects his own job by guarding his information more closely and when making crucial decisions, leaving the startup completely in the dark.

The best method to prevent this problem is to carefully screen for jerks while the interview process, listening for trash talking past employers and self-centered answers.

You believe violate the rules as a startup culture.

A great way to get new customers and attract attention is pushing the limits. A startup was known as a major disruptor in the insurance industry. Investors of that pushed it to improve its sales goals. The Startup ignored state regulations to meet those goals which finally threatened to destroy the organization and forced the CEO out.

Before you think about lawyering up, you need to meet your founders and determine your startup values and understand what’s important to your team? When do you need to discuss an action before moving forward? Track every quarter so that when money’s on the line and deadlines approaching, you know what you stand for.

From Lean to the design team


Maybe you’ve already implemented practices of lean into your startup:

  • Create prototypes
  • Test prototypes with consumers
  • Modify the next version

If you really want to build the best startup culture, it’s as simple as applying those same principles to your team. This process is called Team Design and helps your team reach higher levels of engagement and performance:

  • Identify belief or practice that could be better

fuzzy values and ineffective meetings, approach it from your team’ point of view. What will help your team better perform their jobs? What’s avoiding your team from achieving their goals?

  • Build a few prototypes

This process is very simple, just declare one day a week as “No Meeting Day” so your team has enough time to do more deep thinking, or declare your status meeting with a one-sentence review of your strategy to see if tasks of everyone are on track.

  • Hold a retrospective

If you want to know what worked and what didn’t. just like you would for a product, tweak the pilot and track if it’s worth keeping, or if you should take a different approach.

These steps aren’t as glamorous as holding a luxurious offsite retreat, but it is a reliable method to create a startup culture that you and your team are proud of and enjoy working in. From my own experience, I’ve seen teams’ ability to plan, as well as teams’ interpersonal trust, improve by a third. And when you do make some mistakes, they will be small and corrected fast, and less likely to end up as a headline on a front page.

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