Running a Company is one of the most challenging experiences in the world, especially if you are in the startup stage and you need to take care of every single detail. There will be problems with tax forms, revenues, recruiting and even with the product itself. Furthermore, if you are developing something, you will face the big issue about what development method to use, agile, waterfall or the new and fresh lean startup?
However if we try to see the wider picture by fitting them in a circle, we will notice a core. That is where you will find the 3 Ps that are going to change your company: People, Product and Philosophy. These are the most important aspects of a company – without them, the whole company would probably fail in less than three days.
People are what a company is. Human beings are those who make history by gathering their skills in a single structure, a company. The shared knowledge in-between your company is what it’s going to make the difference in the end. That’s why recruiting the best people out there and in particular, those who believe in what you believe is strictly fundamental to the existence of a startup. As the guys from CANNDi have taught us, “it’s not important that people know everything, they can be trained at any time, what it is important is that they believe in what we are trying to achieve“. In this context, the answer we received from Ori Goshen should make us think. When we asked him what the best tip for recruting people was, he said: “Look for the “spark” in their eye.”
The Product is what comes from the People. The brightest and most motivated people in the world will deliver the most competitive product in the market. It’s not about how good your people are or how great your philosophy is, it’s more about what your customers think of the product you are building. That’s why this phase is crucial in a startup phase. Your product needs to be tested, reviewed and tested again, but remember that feedback is the greatest tool you have. If you don’t your product with your costumers, the chances you will succeed could fall down. However if you are able to use the tools you have (People), you will build the best user experience out there. It’s all about getting what the user wants.
Philosophy is the third P. Culture and Philosophy tend to collide in a single aspect, which is the way you feel in the company and the mission you want to accomplish. It’s difficult to build a philosophy from nothing in a huge corporation; for this reason, young startups should start thinking about it beforehand. Simple things can make a difference – banners on your office’s walls, lunch with the first employees, free lunches (such as Google and now Yahoo), distribute responsibility or hangout with your team members. Although Tom Preston thinks it’s one of the three Ps you need to think about, there are also other people who believe Philosophy is all about wasting time. When we asked Ami Ben David what he thought about the 3 Ps rule, he said: “I’m the product guy so I live and breath products, and having the right people is clearly (by far) the most important success factor of a startup. That leaves philosophy. I think philosophy is overrated – stop philosophizing and start getting things done. 99% perspiration, 1% philosophy.”
At this point is a matter of opinions, but I personally believe a great Culture can motivate the people you are working with.
(Tom Preston-Werner and his 3 Ps, Creator of Gravatar and Co-Founder and CEO of Github, at Startup School 2013)