Posts Tagged culture
As I’ve been doing start-ups for a while now I’ve been getting more and more into the business that makes a start-ups succeed or fail. Over the years one thing does strike me over and over again. Some mistakes are made over and over again. I have found many times that problems can come from an imbalance between searching for solutions and making sure you keep your eye on the prize.
So, It’s been a while since I posted something. With good reason, it was a big transition time for me. I left my work at Smallrivers in Lausanne, Switzerland. Had a house guest for my last weekend in Lausanne and after that moved my thing over to the Netherlands to figure out what I would be doing the next. So what to do next? Well a friend was working as a CTO on a project and they wanted me to help them out. So at Exvo and Tolq I spend a couple of weeks working with them. At the same time one of my investments came back to me and asked if I wanted to join in. Michiel Roukens (the Owner of OWNR) was desperately looking for a technical guy to help him out. Thus I became CTO for OWNR as a side project. At the same time moving to London for Quipper, So we’re back in sync with the current time. Well … at least sort of …
In the first day’s of June I went back to Amsterdam because one of my friends was one of the organizers of the 2012 European Ruby conference. Euruko is one of those pleasantly strange conferences that we have in the Ruby community. Single track, stunning location and interesting speakers make for a good conference spread over two days and some nights.
I find myself two and a half months now in the overly beautify country of Switzerland. The food is good, air is clean and the views are absolutely stunning. With a month of experience now I also got to know the people a bit more. What makes a Swiss national so… Swiss?
What I found mostly is that the Swiss are struggling with their real identity. About 27% of the population is from foreign heritage and in the part where I live it even goes as high as 40%. So determining an average with such a large proportion mixed in heritage can be really difficult. I have however found some things that are really Swiss in origin and can be found in every layer of life here in Switzerland.
In a world of high speed, high complexity and high quality we need smart people to work on smart and innovative solutions. But even though smart people come together at a start-up it can completely fail. Not because of the lack of skill but almost always the lack of culture.
More an more start-up entrepreneurs try and work with remote resources and have the smartest people work on their ideas. Sometimes it works out and things get created but in the start-up work many things go wrong on a simple mismatch of culture. Experts do not know how to work with one another, maybe do not share the same goals and visions. In a small company these things are more important than in bigger ones but a strong company culture can really skyrocket production speed and result quality.
But why is a good developer able to create bad results when the culture is wrong? Why will a normal developer do really good things when in a comfortable cultural environment?