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Road Map to Building a Billion Dollar Company

On a chilling winter morning what might just warm you up is talking about the plans for your company. The other day over the morning hot coffees I impulsively struck a discussion with my cofounders; Avdhesh and Aditi.

How could a company be grown to billion dollars worth? was finally got to be summarised as the topic of the discussion.

Well, I could say it wasn’t a mild discussion, rather it transformed into a brainstorming session. And the one thing I like about brainstorming is it brews up a lot of things just like the morning coffees.

We had a good discussion; there were analogies thrown, examples quoted and personal thoughts put in. Nothing could be healthier than this for a discussion.

In a quest to understand more on building a billion dollar company I contacted Jason Fried, founder & CEO Basecamp, Co-Author of Rework to which he responded-

Hi Mayank,

“I'm not interested in building a billion dollar company - even if we're worth that or more. It's never been a goal to build anything big. Never had our sights on growth - just making some great and existing for as long as we want to run the business.”

People are human not resources and humans are headed, resources are managed. Somewhere in the race of revenues, profits, market valuations we have forgotten this fact and we have started treating people as resources. We tag them as productive or unproductive as if we are bidding on the horses thumping and speeding on a racecourse.

Growing a billion-dollar company:

1. Hire Experts; a novice barber might scratch you: You don’t need a big team of beginners; you need a small team of experts. Experts add value they don’t need constant supervision. They will give you ideas to make your product better. Don’t worry about paying them extra cause if you give peanuts, and you will get monkeys.

2. Outsource your pain: Don’t buy a car if you can afford a cab. Don’t get people onboard when it can be off-boarded. Hire freelancers instead. There are certain tasks, that can be outsourced. There are ample of freelancing websites in the market like- fiverr.com for small hiring, iwriter for content writers, PeoplePerHour.com for hourly jobs and Ofcourse EngineerBabu.com if you are a  startup. Make sure to put clearly what skills you are looking for in a freelancer before outsourcing. Outsourcing is like on demand services, use when you need it.

3. Interns are your Queen: A Queen moves in all the eight directs and any number of squares on a chessboard. Your Queen is your interns. They are fast and more creative. You can’t judge a person in an hour’s interview. I learned this from my friend Nemesh, founder Appointy. Hiring is like love at first sight; The introduction is like ‘finally I got to break the ice’. Next, we come to know about each other once we become fellow passengers. Finally, as time passes, we understand each other better than before. Students in their 2nd and 3rd year of engineering get frustrated with the curriculum studies. They want to do more, create real value. And we always seek such a fire. We provide them with a  internship or a pre-placement offer. This helps them to learn more and more as they don’t have many responsibilities at this juncture. And let me tell you one thing these guys are excellent.

4. Wine tastes better as it matures: Well with all that innovation and swiftness you still need a good body weight to balance. Every business has to take important decisions from time to time, and that is only possible with a seasoned approach. This seasoned approach comes from the senior guys in your team. They have witnessed the highs and lows along with you, they have been the true fellow passengers in the hoarse-inducing ride on the deadly roller coaster from the very beginning.

5. No one can accumulate for the next life; everyone is going to be buried empty handed: So then what it is that we should seek in our lives? It is fun. Life should be fun; one should not feel burdened by anything, especially work pressure. We at EngineerBabu make sure every team member enjoys his/her life to the fullest. We make sure we celebrate every single function or a festival together. The ‘fun’ helps your team to come closer, share their feelings with colleagues. Thirty minutes of fun is never going to affect your work, in fact, it will push your productivity up. Fun can be better instilled with a sense of security, and that is what we follow-As a policy we hire, but we don’t fire.

6. Use tools to sync your work at one place: We use a couple of tools like Workplace by Facebook for internal communication, Appointy for appointment management, Skype for video calling, Google docs for article sharing, Basecamp for project management, Freshsales for sales management, Intercom for client support. These tools help us connecting virtually in this very physical world where boundaries have always been creating issues. We don’t need to go office every time to do our work. In fact, myself promoting work from home in the company. I at least take one workday from home every week.

7. Delegation is stupid; build a culture of responsibility: Delegating what I see is telling someone to carry out a certain task. On the flip side, I believe instilling a culture of responsibility works better anytime. A culture of responsibility drives people to love their work and add value to the company. Delegation is more of a management fundamental while responsibility is a part of culture.

It was one of the several thoughts that were worth brewing over coffee.

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