Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ten thoughts on what matters at a startup: Communication

Why does communication matter at a startup?

Resources are often constrained at a startup, meaning that there isn’t a lot of room for waste. Effective communication means that everyone understands what they are doing and why, and they don’t waste time doing the wrong thing. First, though, you need a shared clarity of vision to ensure that everyone knows what the right things are at your startup.

At Primal Fusion we take communication seriously, and have several ways in which we make it a part of our culture. For example, we hold a short company-wide meeting every Monday to share news about various activities and achievements.

More formally, we use Scrum to drive our software development. That means maintaining a backlog of work to be done on a product as well as holding daily “standup” meetings in which each team member answers three questions: “What did you do since the last standup?”, “Is there anything blocking you?”, and “What are you going to do today?”.

Clear communication all around means that issues are visible sooner, meaning you can more quickly and effectively course-correct. That goes a long way towards making the company a success.

Of course, communication is important anywhere, not just at a startup and not just in your work life. But you already knew that!

• • •

This is one in a short series of posts called Ten Thoughts on what matters at a startup. The thoughts started life as a presentation I made at VeloCity residence at the University of Waterloo. While they're far from definitive, and aren't a top ten, they've mattered to me in my software startup experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment