Monday, January 24, 2011

Keeping the Start Up Alive Inside

Take a look at the article from the NY Times, How to Shape the DNA of a Young Company. It is an “interview with Jeremy Allaire, chairman and chief executive of Brightcove, an online video platform for Web sites, and was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.”

From the article:

Q. How has the culture evolved as your company has grown? How do you maintain that original DNA, as you call it?

A. It’s a huge challenge. One point is that you always need to have everyone feel like they’re on some broader mission. In the early stages, the mission is: Are we going to survive? Is there a product? Does it work? Is anyone going to want it? Is there a market? They’re like existential questions for a business, but I think those core mission tenets remain important through that growth stage. It’s something that people can attach themselves to, so people aren’t just coming into a job. So I’ve tried to really provide that narrative over and over, even as the milestones just keep changing.
The other thing is to hold onto that feeling of being a start-up, and it actually relates very deeply to how you go to the next phase of growth. Companies that figure out how to really become significant in scale reinvent themselves and create completely new things. Just as an example, a little over a year ago, we created a start-up inside the company to create new products. That was so galvanizing and so energizing, and it kind of cascaded across the company. People were saying, “This isn’t the kind of same old, same old — we’re reinventing ourselves.”

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