If you ask me what it’s like inside a startup, I would say it’s like a melting pot of ideas. A startup combines the skills, creativity, and spirit of all the members under one roof and all of this contributes towards the creation of a single product. Among that small group of people with diversified backgrounds, there is just so much energy; there’s so much that is happening!
“Great ideas fail. The most robust business models crash, even in the presence of good financial resources and smart people, simply because of poor teamwork.”
New ideas abound, people acquire new skills and learn to take charge. This close-knit bunch of people works hard to achieve collective goals, and everyone learns to trust each other. But — and that’s a huge but — all of this only happens when one indispensable precondition is met, and that is teamwork, or more specifically, good teamwork. Only with good teamwork can a team thrive, and this becomes even more important in a startup.
This is a great time to launch a tech startup, and I say that because everyone is quickly moving to their computers to solve all their problems and do all their work. There are a million problems that need solving, and that equals to a mountain of startup ideas, if only one is daring enough to venture into the territory. But as easy as it is to enter the startup scene right now, it is equally, if not more, difficult to survive here. Great ideas fail. The most robust business models crash, even in the presence of good financial resources and smart people. Why is that? There’s a simple answer to that question: poor teamwork.
You see, business is not just about a good product or service. It is much more than that. It’s about how solid the organization as a whole is, which is why good teamwork is one of the most important qualities for a successful startup.
Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why you need good teamwork in your startup.
Things move very fast in startups, what with everyone working in overdrive. There’s an awful lot to be done in a small time frame. In such a situation, it becomes extremely important to ensure that everybody is on the same page and there is no overlap of work, since that could quickly result in chaos and catastrophe. Someone needs to take charge and make sure there is active and efficient communication in the team so that the workflow stays organized.
Just a short meeting of team members every day can help ensure this. We, here at ZipBoard, always gather in the morning for a few minutes to discuss the individual and collective goals for the day. This not only helps in good workflow but also makes delegation of tasks easier.
The members of a startup team, though small in number, usually come from very different backgrounds and have expertise in different areas. All of them have their own style of working and their own philosophies that they stand by. Uniting such a team to work together towards a shared goal can be a difficult task. Everyone has different responsibilities and different expectations, so coordination doesn’t always come easy.
To overcome this hurdle, good teamwork is needed. This allows the team to bond over group activities and start to feel comfortable with each other. Teamwork builds trust, which is a touchstone for any team’s success.
More learning opportunities
When you work with a team, there are people whose work shares context with yours, which makes it easier for all of you to challenge each other’s ideas and grow together in the process. An individual working alone on a project will take much more time than a team will, thereby working on fewer projects and greatly reducing the number of learning opportunities. People working in startups need to learn a lot very quickly, and a good team makes sure everybody grows together.
“Teamwork significantly increases the “bus factor” — a hypothetical number of people in your team that can be hit by a bus before a project stops completely.”
Dealing with high risk and pressure
The startup scene today is highly competitive and saturated, and it’s very difficult to survive while keeping your competitive edge. The risks are huge and there is constant pressure to perform at your best. You need very resilient people in startups who take problems as challenges and thrive under pressure. If the founding team isn’t rock solid, there isn’t much hope for the startup. They need to maintain good teamwork and help everyone face their problems with a headstrong attitude. Every team member must handle hardships boldly and complement each other’s strengths. They must be ready to step out of their comfort zones for each other in times of need, and that can only happen when they trust and believe in each other’s abilities.
The Bus Factor
Most startups have a very small team in the beginning, comprised of a handful of competent people. They all need to be aware of what everyone else is doing so as to be able to take up someone else’s work on a short notice during an emergency.
We refer to the “bus factor” when talking about this situation. The number of people who can be hit by a bus, hypothetically, before a project stops completely is known as the bus factor. When a team maintains good communication and coordinates its activities well, the bus factor increases significantly, since the probability of a project coming to a halt decreases substantially in case someone gets sick or leaves the team.
When the members of a startup team are a closely knit group with shared ambitions, they have an innate respect for each other and are not keen on letting each other down. This helps in increasing the accountability of everyone’s work because peer pressure factors into the equation and motivates everyone to work harder for the team’s success. Even on days you don’t feel particularly driven to work, your concern for the team overpowers the lack of motivation and you focus on doing your work industriously.
The hallmark of a promising startup is its ability to roll out a good product without compromising on speed, which requires prompt decision-making and a system of quality control. If all team members in a startup work closely together, they can keep track of each other’s work, thus maintaining a consistent standard. This improves the overall performance of the startup.
This Article was originally posted here