Most managers at startups don't start out as managers.
You joined a startup when it was tiny and became one of its earliest, most valuable members. Now, that startup is not that tiny. Somewhere along the way, you found yourself responsible for the output of other people’s work.
Congratulations! You're now a manager.
But then ... you realise that management is difficult.
It feels like you're always dealing with an internal problem, when what you want to do is to focus on the business, or on your work — the external-facing bits of doing a startup!
You also realise the difficulty with management is unexpectedly different:
Management For Startups is for managers on the startup treadmill. We cover the practice of management in an environment where things are always breaking, where you never have enough resources, and where managers won't have much time to improve.
Let's get started:
Jeff Bezos popularised the concept of 'disagree and commit'. But what do you do when your boss decides to do something that your entire team disagrees with, and you have to do it anyway?
Part of being the manager is protecting your team from the randomness of your organisation. But this begs an important question: how much should you tell them? How much should you keep from them? In this post, we find out.
Say you're new to a team, and you need to build up your toolbox of leading indicators as manager. One trick you have available to you is to watch your boss — because the likelihood is high that they're better at it than you are.
Everyone you work with has 'shallow' motivations and 'deep' motivations. Understanding your boss's true motivations is the first step to managing up.
What should you do when your entire team disagrees with your boss, but you have to commit to the decision anyway?
How do you manage your down days now that other people depend on you?
How do you find motivation in management, when you no longer get to code?
Keep Your People is a book about keeping your best people in the startup context. Out in April 2019.