How can a startup invest in people

2 min min read - August 8, 2014

Many times recently I met a statement that people with startup experience come often with very limited set of skills. Compared to enterprise environment that spend huge amounts of money on human resources, it's obvious that level of learning may differ. Anyhow often startups delay any investment in their teams backing up that by leak of proper funds. I believe in most cases, it's because they don't see short term value in education.

If you would like for instance to use agile technologies in your startup, you will notify that all of them more or less try to leverage learnings. Especially LEAN puts huge pressure on it. Learnings are based on user feedback, metrics but also late decision and lack of fear of trashing some work. Those principles can be massively used to improve your team knowledge and secure your company future.

Those are 5 things you should count in you planning:

  1. Deploy fast as small bit you can. Use early feedback tools like Gather user feedback. Your team will learn about usability.
  2. Spend time on analytics. That will give your team information which technologies play biggest role for your product. Your team will learn about trends.
  3. Spend time on spying on competition. Check their code. Google technology they use. Try to use the same packages, modules, out of the box libraries. Your team will get familiar with trending tools.
  4. Execute Test Driven Development (TDD) as principle in your work. You will gain quality control over changes. Your team will learn mechanics and limitations of technology they use.

Add extra time for reading and watching tutorials and use cases. It will limit changes of you spending time on reinventing the wheel. Your team will increase their knowledge and gain wider choice of solutions.

It is very important that you DO plan those activities in project work. You can't plan it above time team has to spend on actual delivery. Constant skill improving may be "live or die" factor even in early days of your business.

Hope it helps.

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No matter what is demographic structure your team has, sooner or later you will find that it’s not only a set of great skills, but also characters. It really doesn’t matter what age or gender, education or background your team members are. Team as any other group works under laws of sociology, has the same problems as any other group and can be enhanced by the same simple rules.

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2 min min read - August 12, 2014

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Recently got on timeline nice short article saying that IT industry in the UK is booming. I think that is true. I can see that each day in my mailbox and on my phone. As a senior (hope not because of age) I experience a bit hard to manage flood of various offers. It's nice feeling to be recognised by recruiters. But it's annoying that still many of them don't even try to walk just for a moment in my shoes. If they were, they would figure out why I reject some of their enquiries in a seconds:

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3 min min read - July 31, 2014