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2012-01-03 01:38:17.681178+00 by meuon 4 comments

How does anyone get a small technology company where one person is the main intellectual property asset, to scale beyond the capabilities and capacity of that person, without re-inventing everything. I'm looking for answers, resources, books, how-to, friendly blunt advice... unfriendly (but constructive) advice..

[ related topics: Books ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-03 08:43:43.912875+00 by: ebradway

  1. You need to feel more comfortable telling people what needs to be done. There's a subtle difference between how I've known you to manage people and how you need to manage people. I think I can sum it up like this: You do know what needs to be done and probably, how to do it, better than anyone else. You've always been good about hiring really bright people and gently guiding them while learning from their talents. You need to learn how to direct their talents more towards your ends.
  2. You need to STOP doing things yourself. I think this is antithetical to your personality. I have a hard time considering what you might possibly be incapable of actually doing - be it create an ISP, a smart grid system or rebuild an engine. Your abilities are a curse. My father has the same problem. He can't hire other people to do work for him around the house even though he has plenty of money to pay them. The problem is that he cannot accept anyone else's work. One way to accelerate this is to push the company further outside your comfort zone so you can't contribute as much.

I don't think there are any books that would really help you. You're a unique person. I've known for a while that your unique qualities would prevent any business you own from growing much beyond just you. Maybe the Steve Jobs biography might help. You're much more like Woz than Jobs. If it weren't for Jobs, there would be no Apple. Woz liked to give away his designs and was happy working for HP. Jobs was the one who pushed Woz to do greater things and pushed others as well.

And that leads to another thought: not everyone is like you. You do not like to be "pushed". However, most people actually like to need that kind of direction. You don't have to be an ass about it, but you need to feel comfortable directing other people's effort.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-03 10:24:08.591828+00 by: meuon

That's what friends are for. Thanks, I needed that.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-03 16:13:57.817446+00 by: jeff

Professional personal coaches, while sometimes expensive, can be effective helping you to think outside the box while also helping to push you in the right direction.

I have a personal friend who is also seeking similar direction.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-03 18:11:13.754609+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think I need a little more about what "re-inventing everything" means.

Reinforcing Eric, I think you need to take a little more stock of the value your products are bringing to your customers, and be willing to let the costs of building those processes rise. This means more waste in the development process, which is what's going to happen when you describe what you want to your developers, they bring you something that isn't what you wanted, that iteration happens, and you learn to build better systems by giving developers specs rather than by building them yourself.

And I'd like to point out that I'm giving that instruction having spent yesterday running drywall screws. Yes, I know exactly what it means to be too hands-on.