To date, we’ve been fortunate to grow by focusing on our passion for manufacturing, design, software development and customer experience. This attitude let us grow for 5 years without a single person in marketing. Last year we started building a marketing team and noticed our growth curve bend.
Our team is still small and, while there are obvious benefits to staying that way, there’s also long term risk associating with ignoring opportunities to grow faster.
Our team is still small and, while there are obvious benefits to staying that way, there’s also long term risk associated with ignoring opportunities to grow faster. Without outside investors forcing growth on us, we’ve been able to create an environment where talented people seem to enjoy working (our eNPS is 90!). If we accelerate growth, it’s important that we don’t diminish the environment & culture that enables us to do great work.
Given our hesitation to make changes that could negatively impact our culture, we identified a few areas where we need to improve to grow faster. As we start 2016, to grow faster, we need to:
Prioritize effectively organization-wide
Our future is determined by the projects we pursue. Time spent doing less valuable activities is not spent doing more valuable ones. The better we get at prioritization the faster we will grow.
Minimize average time to go live
We spend resources upon starting a project and don’t get a return until we go live. It’s wasteful for good ideas to sit idle and worse to invest time in a project that get’s shelved or stalled.
Learn to scale job responsibilities
New responsibilities accumulate quickly in fast growing organizations. We need to be flexible when it’s necessary to adopt new responsibilities or adapt to a new role.
Identify, recruit and fill key positions
We can’t do anything without the right people. So our potential is constrained unless we identify significant roles and fill them with the best people.
Develop an effective hiring processes
To hire at scale we need exceptional recruiting, hiring and onboarding processes and a commitment to caring about the success of new people. Productivity and morale deteriorate when companies hire without a plan.
We must be committed to mastering new skills while continuing to improve where we already excel. People learn from each other and a deterioration in standards can quickly spread as we grow.
While these principles are particularly relevant to our current situation I suspect they’ll continue to matter indefinitely. Prioritization and execution speed are easily the two biggest determinants of long run growth.
Beyond that, it comes down to filling the right positions with the best people, enabling them to succeed and encouraging everyone to stay flexible so that the organization can quickly adapt to change. Finally, a commitment to constantly raising standards is perhaps the best safeguard to the decay the most organizations experience as they age.
If you agree with these principles and are seeking an organization where talented people enjoy working, we are hiring.