Povestea unui Startup. Inceputul.

Postat la noiembrie 5, 2011

In compania in care tocmai ma angajasem, se deschisese un nou departament de cercetare si dezvoltare software. Primele zile la noul meu loc de munca au fost pline entuziasm: timp de doua saptamani mi-am petrecut doar aranjandu-mi lucrurile in birou si lipind postere motivationale pe pereti…

De la fereastra biroului meu am o vedere placuta asupra parcului din vecinatate, a rondului cu flori din intersectie si a intreagii panorame a orasului. Pe tabla alba imi notez idei si cuvinte mari precum: Provocare, Viziune, Oameni. Este primul job la care mi se da sansa de a visa cu ochii deschisi.

Sunt cateva tipi din companie, care se holbeaza mereu cand trec prin fata biroul meu, probabil intrebandu-se: Cine sunt si ce caut aici? Sincer sa fiu, nici eu nu sunt sigur care este rolul meu. Sunt angajat ca Enterprise Product Manager, insa mi s-a spus ca va trebui sa fiu probabil si Project Manager, Designer de Produs si orice e nevoie pentru a pune pe picioare o noua companie. Rolul meu s-ar putea rezuma in felul urmator: gaseste noi oportunitati de monetizare.

Asadar, iata-ma jucand rolul vietii mele, in incercarea de a cuceri lumea prin idei noi, intr-o companie tanara si ambitioasa. Spre placuta mea surpriza, propunerile mele initiale prezentate in fata comitetului executiv au fost bine primite si apreciate, chiar daca unele dintre ele erau desprinse de realitate. Actionarii au fost de asemenea incantati de initiativele mele, iar acest lucru mi-a dat si mai mult avant. Peste noapte m-am transformat dintr-un simplu angajat, intr-un Brand IT Manager. Mi s-a spus:

-Nu iti dai seama ce oportunitate ti s-a oferit…Presa asteapta luni de zile sa intre in biroul actionarilor, iar tu ai acces la ei, in fiecare zi… Ce noroc…

In incercarea de a obtine finantarea unor proiecte personale si de a impresiona actionariatul, au urmat cateva luni de munca asidua, una din cele mai creative perioade din cariera mea. Se crease in jurul meu o “aura” de guru si de privilegiat al sortii, pentru ca eram considerat una din cele mai inovatoare minti din companie si pentru ca eram unul dintre putinii oameni care pot schimba viitorul. Dupa ce actionarii au aprobat finantarea unor proiecte pe care le propusesem, impreuna cu doi directori executivi din compania mama, am reusit sa lansam un nou startup (numit F-Startup). Insa la jumatate de an, dupa ce F-Startup se lansase, compania mama a dat faliment, banii nostri au inceput sa se imputineze, iar lucrurile au inceput sa o ia razna. Atunci am inteles, pentru prima data in viata, ce inseamna cu adevarat un management de tip “haotic” (vezi Managementul haotic si reactiv) si cat de dezastruos poate fi el in cadrul unui startup. Dupa haosul creat de falimentul firmei mama, a urmat apoi o perioada calma, de creatie si de munca sustinuta, timp in care reusisem sa scoatem la lumina primul nostru produs. Cand lucrurile pareau sa se linisteasca, iar primele rezultate sa apara, in startup-ul nostru au fost angajati o serie de asa zisi “Experti” in Marketing si Vanzari (vezi Cine sunt Expertii?), adusi de catre CEO cu scopul de a vinde produsele noastre. Venirea lor insa, in loc sa ne aduca un plus de valoare organizatiei, ne-a adancit si mai mult criza in care eram. Compania a inceput sa mearga din ce in ce mai prost si totul a culminat cu falimentul F-Startup.

Povestea F-Startup este in esenta un jurnal care acumuleaza toate experientele mele intr-un an si jumatate si descrie provocarile cu care se confrunta un manager intr-un startup. The PM Journal contine note personale, dialoguri, ganduri necenzurate si descrie evenimentele din viata unui PM, asa cum este ea. Identitatea persoanelor care apar in jurnal va ramane privata.

Jurnalul a fost de asemenea o oportunitate sa imi inteleg calitatile si defectele, sa imi imbunatatesc cunostintele teoretice despre management si sa imi definesc propria mea viziune asupra practicarii managementului (conceptul de Lead by Experimenting).

Vezi in continuare cum ne-am definit in F-Startup: Modelul nostru de business.

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