Ever wondered what success looks like for a startup like Koyo Loans? Here are five steps that any tech startup can follow to achieve business success.
Step 1 : The right amount of process
A high level of process is the correct structure for highly repetitive tasks (think flipping burgers at McDonald’s, for instance). But building exceptional software is a different ball game. Yes, there are design patterns and best practice guidelines, but every problem and solution needs to be unique. Having the right amount of process allows for creativity and prevents bureaucracy. In other words, it’s the perfect amount of structure for successful startups to thrive in. It’s also important to note that in tech, tools are not focused on the process. Rather, the right processes and tools evolve as the team evolves and grows.
Step 2: Laziness (Really?!)
Consider this quote from Larry Wall:
“The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure.”
This is largely referring to the automation of internal tasks. In other words, if we see boring, repetitive work, a startup should be vocal about putting a stop to it. If we’re not prepared to do tasks that seem so mundane, we need to automate them. This is evidence of a company testing the status quo and thinking outside the box. A tech-led company is one that strives for automation at its heart. It is also one that can be lazy by not following the latest tech fashions without knowing when they’re actually appropriate.
Step 3: Doing the right thing
If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. This hits back at the notion of getting to market quickly and iterating, but patience is a virtue. Of course, compromises are inevitable, but short term solutions often become long term ones. In the tech world, architectural shortcuts are worse than those at the code level. After all, when you continuously take shortcuts, you end up with something like spaghetti – when you pull a strand to fix one thing, a whole host of other necessary changes become apparent.
Step 4: Hiring the best
Working with bright people means problems are more likely to be solved. In all cases, small, highly motivated teams will outperform large, demotivated teams. Although systematising the recruitment process is important, if the wrong candidate comes along, it’s important to take a pass. What’s more, if the wrong person has been hired, steps need to be taken to resolve the situation. Leaving the wrong person in situ for too long breeds resentment and can upset the entire work culture. The next person you hire needs to be better than you, and you can’t afford to get the recruitment process wrong.
Step 5: Full distribution
Hiring in the big city is a competitive process. The key to getting the best people is broadening the parameters and making sure the right people are considered. It’s about hiring within the right time zones, to ensure people are online at the right times and don’t need to work anti-social hours when they should be with their families. Slack and Zoom are key communication tools and ensure everyone is on the same page. This is what it means to be fully distributed.
Find out more about the story behind Koyo’s tech culture and what it means to be a successful startup in 2022.