Andrew Williams

Andrew WilliamsFounder - The App CrewWebsite / Twitter

A lot of people ask me if they should move to work in a startup. Whether it’s for a first job, if you are looking for something new or if you are changing industry – the answer is not necessarily obvious. I’d love to say yes to everyone because I personally enjoy it so much but instead it’s up to each individual to decide if they are up for the challenge. To help make that decision allow me to explain what working in a start up means to me.

Building Something

I love building things. As a coder or as a LEGO fan I get to make something cool that has not been done before. Or I get to take an existing idea and build on it. In my mind that’s what start-ups are in comparison to traditional business. Building a great product is a big part, but you can do that at any number of companies. What is different about a start-up is that you can also build the company, it’s culture and the team you work with. Everything you ever thought could be better in your workplace or how you would prefer things were run is now in the mix too!

Collaboration

One thing that young companies know and older companies are doing their best to learn is that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Nothing makes for a great job more than arriving at work every day to spend time with your friends, collaborating and building the future. The future of your product, the future of your team or the future of the company – it’s all part of an average day, it’s a collaboration and it’s your family. Your commercial urban family.

Cross functional teams, self organising groups or all hands meetings – it’s all part of the close-knit community that is a successful, growing start-up. Such bonds make it possible for the entire company to share a product vision, roadmap and strategy for the future. And chat over a beer or stack of pizzas!

Value

If you read blogs or books about start-up life or how to build an MVP or gain product market fit then you’ll hear a lot about value delivery. When resources are tight and the world is moving fast it is essential to be building the right thing as effectively as possible. This is another area where start-ups have got an advantage over bigger businesses – its obvious that the success of the company depends on the success of the product you are building. This creates a focus on building the right thing and seeing continual improvement that, in my experience, equates to a regular feeling of achievement or contribution from every member of the team.

Challenge Accepted

Yes, it’s a challenge. It’s many challenges. It’s basically being thrown in at the deep end again and again which will often result in a lot of hard work to find the right solution. When you are making the most of an opportunity to change everything and try out new ideas you’re going to have to find a lot of answers and juggle lots of uncertainty. If you’re a problem solver, a person who likes to continually push forward your area of specialism or if you just like the sound of the teamwork or culture I have described – then a start-up could be for you. But also consider this – does it make you want to shout “Challenge accepted”?