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Thoughts about *not* implementing process in an early stage company

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Reflections on Ravi Gupta's "Desperation Induced Focus" article

Sorting process photo by phtorxp on Pixabay

A colleague recently emailed Ravi's article to a small group of portfolio company CEOs.

His goal was to prompt internal reflection among the leadership group. I replied with my thoughts so he'd know my reflections. Here's the response I sent him. I hope it will be of help to you.

Two simple questions determine if you need a process

I've lived a considerable time in both big company and wee little company worlds. He's right - it's easy for big company people to over-process a small and emergent company.

That said, Michael Gerber, author of The E-myth Revisited, might beg to differ with the characterization.

For my part, I think about process as an integrated part of the twin vectors of velocity and risk management.

  • If streamlining something helps me go faster, that's a process worth putting in place.

  • If consistency keeps me out of (bona-fide) trouble, that's a process worth putting in place.

Process isn't binary - a general feeling the article tacitly evokes.

Here's where I try to calibrate with a single question. I learned it from someone, who learned it from someone:

What's the simplest thing that can possibly work?

My Key Take Away

Engineering a company is just as important as engineering a product or an experience.

I take Ravi's article as a good reminder to think carefully about the total cost of ownership in every process investment.


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