Being part of the core team in an Early Stage Startup

‘Founding Team’ already sounds like an achievement to me. If you ask me why I even need to highlight this term is because I am neither the co-founder or the creator of this Start up and still referred to as the Founding Team. Confused? We’ll get to it.

At an early stage start up its just 2-3 founders and some hired ones working their backs off to keep the company afloat. The daily tasks vary from just researching to planning different strategies which are generally unpredictable. I was hired as a Marketing Intern at The Playbook Company which is a CRM for SaaS companies to plan, implement, fine-tune and manage all revenue making teams along with the processes required to attain the necessary objectives at each step of the customer journey. Below are things I’ve had to get used to as an intern. 

I am part of the first set of hires working with Playbook which clears the idea of the term ‘Founding Team’ I tossed at the very beginning. Being one of the first employees you have the larger effect on the work environment, culture and ethics of the company which of course tends to change gradually with time. Decisions you take, strategies you build and tools you use are going to be the framework for the future team members. In short, say you have the opportunity to change what the company will look like for next few years. As time passes, you are more responsible towards the company which makes you rise to the occasion in various areas which you never even thought of. And yes, don’t be surprised if the strategies or decisions change overnight because that’s the most amazing part of a Startup, like the phrase goes “Be ready to wear different hats”. Things change unexpectedly but you need to focus on the bigger picture.

Coming from a corporate IT environment, it took me a while to figure out the dynamics of marketing. But working with Playbook gave me a clear picture of many such things. If you ask me how? Within just 2 months of joining, I was directly involved in lead generation, email campaigns, creating social media marketing strategies, building and publishing content across Social Media etc. I started following some of the thought leaders (something I should’ve done sooner), read their articles, researched on the challenges they faced. It wasn’t a task allotted but came out of an intrinsic motivation to upskill myself as an individual while helping the company and start building myself for my own entrepreneurial journey, when (if) the day comes. 

Paul Graham perfectly describes this concept in one of his essays ,“ Default Alive or Default Dead”. In practice there is surprisingly little connection between how much a startup spends and how fast it grows. When a startup grows fast, it’s usually because the product strikes a chord amongst its patrons through  solving a pressing problem.

As long as you enjoy what you are doing to keep the ship afloat being a founding team like I stated earlier, your efforts are going to benefit both, the Company and yourself 😀.

Onward and upward!

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