The common diagnosis is that the Valley has a maturity problem, where first-time managers with big responsibilities and budgets build cultures of excessive behavior. But the reality is much more complicated. Rapid growth, a total absence of training, a cultural deficit and employees too focused on perks are a few contributors. Valley companies that want to continue down this path of impressive growth and success need to address these issues.
Building a startup and company is really hard work. There are so many factors in play it’s hard to capture them easily and succinctly; every situation is nuanced and there’s so much context that’s required to understand and appreciate fully the challenges.
But I like how this article codifies some typical challenges that startups face (not just relevant to Silicon Valley-based ventures). When you have young, talented, but relatively inexperienced staff attempting to do really, really big things, it can be a recipe for wild and limitless success as well as a dangerous mix for disaster.
The former exists because there are a number of very useful characteristics of new-ish staff as they do not fully comprehend or ascertain natural “established” limitations. This means that they can create alternative solutions that may stump more “seasoned” veterans. This is a good thing.
The latter scenario, well, can end up pretty badly. But that happens and it’s not something to be entirely scared of – rather, it’s to be embraced as a natural consequence and risk of choosing to work with passionate and young staff members.
I don’t necessarily think that this is a trade-off either. I think finding the right mix of people that can create a high-performance team is the true ticket home.