11436 SSO

Go Small or Go Home

Nine things I like about working at a small(ish) company, and one thing I don’t.
Jan 27, 2016

I moved from IBM to Apigee four years ago (when it was less than half its current size), and to be frank, I was not at all sure whether I would survive, let alone thrive. It is time to chronicle what I love and the one thing I don’t. I’ll give you the good news first.

  1. Decisions are made much more quickly  “Switch to Slack?”  Done.
  2. The future is ahead of us  “Should we do bot detection?” You bet.
  3. Legacy code hasn’t hit us yet  “Change our persistence layer?” Yes, if it reduces our COGS.
  4. Very few people are at the end of a phone line  “Let’s get together now and resolve an issue, in person.” Yup!
  5. One gets to do more, learn more  “CTO talking to financial analysts?” Check.
  6. A straight line to customers—and to business impact  “Ask 10 customers what we should do?” They like us, they'll tell us.
  7. Really smart people with different perspectives are all around you  “Tie in analytics and run-time closer together?” Joy (our chief data scientist) and Greg (our chief architect), separated by 20 feet—what’s the issue?
  8. There’s no “this is the way it works, get over it”  “Sales engineers contributing code?” Why not?
  9. I wake up and look forward to work “A cold coming on—should I stay at home?” Probably not, the office is too much fun. I know, this is weird, hahahaha.

And the one thing I miss? Not being able to give people a lot of time to grow in their jobs.  “Take five months and become a Spark expert?” Nah. If you want an environment where you can be shielded and grow your skills, then a smallish company is not for you.

I think I moved at the right time. Earlier, I would have had a chip on my shoulder  (“I have to prove myself”). I joined at a point when I felt that I didn’t have to establish myself here. I was here to have fun and make a difference. If I had waited much longer, I wouldn’t have moved at all.

Find the right time, and give a small(ish) company a spin.

Image: http://www.colorkiddo.com/david-bring-down-goliath-with-his-sling-coloring-page/


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