Management for Startups is for managers in businesses and organisations between 2-50 people, running on the startup treadmill and hoping for an end in sight.
You know how people in big companies receive training and a proper managerial career path when they first get promoted into management? Well, that doesn't happen in startups.
Managers in startups don't intend to become managers. They join as software engineers, as designers, as marketers — and then as time goes on, they find themselves becoming the senior person in the room. The person who knows the most.
Next thing they know — they're responsible for some other person's work. Congratulations! They've just become a manager!
Managers in startups have to figure it all out for themselves. And the end result is that management sucks in startups — or that new managers and their teams have to go through a lot of pain as the startup grows.
If you're lucky, you find a mentor in the startup community, or a book that speaks exactly your language, or a fellow manager who's willing to show you the ropes. But most of the time you don't, and you have to do the difficult work of translating corporate management books to the startup environment.
This site is an antidote for that. I want MFS to be a one-stop solution to new managers on the startup treadmill. By the time I'm done, I hope MFS would be what I wished I had when I first became a manager.
Hi there! My name is Cedric.
I've been running organisations and working in startups for a long time. When I was in university years ago, I created and ran the NUS Hackers — which remains to this day one of the most important pieces of Singapore's tech community.
More recently, I ran the product organisation and software engineering part of EPOS, a Singaporean Point of Sales company. I took over the office in Vietnam, and we went from S$0-S$4.5 million in annual revenue in two years. I was there for all of it.
Over the course of my tenure at EPOS, I got rid of Saturday work days, and reduced overtime work by over 90%. Customers stopped yelling at us because we got more effective.
My team caught problems before they happened, instead of fixing them after they happened.
We increased employee retention by 70%.
And, like magic, our company revenues went up, and up, and up. By the end of my tenure, we made in a year what we used to make in five years. We went from break-even to insanely profitable. And we did all this with under 30 employees.
The secret was effective management. But that's no surprise, really — any well-run organisation can probably trace their effectiveness to good management. I got lucky, because I had mentors in Singapore's startup ecosystem. They pointed me in the right direction and I worked obsessively to get better.
The year before I left to run my own business, I created a management course to train the three managers who were to replace me. MFS is an extension of that course, and a collection of everything I've learnt to become a good manager.
I hope this site helps you as much as my mentors have helped me. Onward!