I have worked in high technology for over 12 years now, a significant portion of which has been spent in designing everything from circuits to software. For me, I can confidently say that the startup boom has been a blessing to “techies” like me. In particular, the recent rise of SaaS companies holds real promise for IT engineers. Here’s why:
1) Deep visibility into the tech domain
At startups, techies are involved in all phases of product development, thereby getting an opportunity to have a complete understanding of the product development cycle. This is very unusual at bigger organisations.
2) Fast-paced culture
Startups are a close-knit structure. With smaller hierarchies to deal with, the decision-making cycles are smaller and the turn-around times for projects are much faster. This means quicker testing cycles and speedier course corrections to meet the exact demands ordained by the customer.
My team says they love the independence to go full throttle on newer ideas. The fact that there is absolutely no holding back on thoughts and suggestions makes them feel at ease, and this propagates team bonding. Techies are super-achievers and are self-driven; hence, setting them free to explore and experiment is crucial. They like the idea of working with a management that is receptive to newer ideas and patient with experiments.
Like most others, product-oriented startups aren’t averse to challenges. Short deadlines and real-time applications keep everyone on their toes. Programmers seldom get a chance to breathe until applications run bug-free.
5) Visible contribution
At a startup, what you do or make is always visible. As a result, employees are driven with a higher sense of contribution and deeper sense of ownership and accountability. They are willing to take up more responsibility and work with a result-driven approach.
6) Greater sense of belonging
At any sizeable organisation, it is the CTO who is the authority for the tech team. More often than not, he or she dictates the pathway of projects and the team down the line is responsible for execution only. There is no transparency on why certain decisions have been taken and why a course correction is required halfway into it. Contrary to this, the technology team at a startup is the one closely interacting with customers. They have complete transparency on their requirements, and because of this it becomes easier for them to plan, build and develop.
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7) Playing a role in decision-making
The tech team at a product startup builds interfaces for consumers. They are directly responsible for the value proposition the company stands for. Founders and management team constantly look to this team for feedback on improvising consumer-facing products and offerings. Thus, they play an impactful role on the decision-making process.
8) You never lose sight of the big vision
Unlike bigger organisations, where roles are scattered and overlapping, at a product startup each employee has a clearly defined role. There’s no question of intersecting scope of work because startups need to carefully plan work optimisation in order to be cost-effective. And working closely with the founders is truly exciting. From the bottom up, everyone works closely together and are geared to offer their best, always keeping the company’s vision in sight.
9) Creating micro-entrepreneurs
High-achieving techies work with focused outcomes. Whether they are working in a team or in silo, they have a deep sense of accountability. The work culture at a startup provides them with the freedom to work independently while simultaneously molding them into micro-entrepreneurs.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
- Lean Startup
- technology startup
- product startup
- Startup company
- Alok Choudhary
- Impartus Innovations