Thursday, January 13, 2011

Startup vs. "Big" Company - Pecking Order of Execution

I wrote a post about startup vs. big company a while ago. There, I talked more about politics in startups. Today's post is about something else that may resonate more with the big company types.

For those of you who've never lived the life of startups, here's the thought process to get ideas going.

Ideas to Execution (startup style)
  1. Boss: "We don't have $$, but come up with something awesome."
  2. Peon: "Yes, sir. We'll juice our brains as much as possible to get something going as soon as possible. It's a matter of life or death situation for me."

Ideas to Execution (big company style)
  1. Boss: "Come up with the best idea ever."
  2. Peon: "Yes, sir. We'll talk about it with the teams. What's our budget?"
  3. Boss: "Come up with the idea first. We'll see if we can fund that idea."
  4. Peon: "Yes, sir. What's our budget?"
  5. .........

You get the idea. Neither is a good or bad thing. The pecking order of executing an idea is just different. Budget is already out of the equation (mostly in early-stage company marketing stuff), so the $$ discussion never happens. Ideas make everything happen in startups.

It just takes different personalities to operate under these two different conditions. Trust me. Not having the $$ to make an impact sucks, but it's such a beautiful act of startup life. On the other hand, having a set $$ creates artificial boundaries to think big.

Where do you fit into this picture, dear readers?