Breaking from Enterprise-mentality: The Hidden Strengths of Startups

Engineering leaders at startups often feel they're behind because they know what best practices are like at big organizations and they see their org not meeting them just yet. We are here to dispell this feeling! Of course we should have our eyes set on improvement, but no need to feel bad about not being perfect. That's actually a superpower for startups.

Strengths of Startups

  1. Agility: you and your team can quickly adapt to change. If you have a new learning that invalidates work you've been doing... you can drop that work and refocus on something that's higher value.
  2. Prioritization: You can pick the most important thing to focus on at any given time. You don't have the tug of war over tons of priorities that may come up at a larger company. Focus on your North Star.
  3. Flexibility: Your processes aren't ingrained yet - find what works for your team. If something isn't working, change it. When you're ready to add new bits to the process, toss them in and see how it goes.
  4. Continuous Improvement: You have big goals for your team! Break them into smaller chunks and slowly bring them in. Your focus is about delivering for your customers and getting the company to default-alive (you can survive without the help of investors if you need to)


This post is a short one, the point is this: your team isn't going to look like the teams at big companies and that's ok. Better than ok, in fact it's what gives you a shot at winning. You need the flexibility and agility to forge the right path, as while you're finding it you can bring in the improvements as you go, and as they make sense for you and your customers. It's all about context. Pay attention to your context.