By Jade Bennett With Middleton Executive’s third birthday just over the horizon, I’ve been reflecting on the last few years as a startup business, both professionally and personally. I’ve been asking myself what have I achieved? What have I learned? Would I do anything differently if I could? Pondering these questions has made me realise that we need to change the language and the image around what it looks like to start your own business. Yes, it is a lot of hard work. And yes, the hours at times are long and the pain is real, but more than that it’s an absolute blast and quite possibly one of the most rewarding endeavours I’ve ever undertaken. I can’t talk about other people’s experiences, but I can share my own experience in launching a boutique tech recruitment startup, and what I’ve learned. In short, I’ve loved every minute of setting up my own business, but it hasn’t been without it’s challenges… The startup mindset We’re all familiar with the rhetoric of business ownership and the sacrifices required, but if we change our language and mindset to be more positive and supportive, perhaps more people will do it, especially females. I’m not saying that it’s an easy thing to do, but for me it has been enlightening and has changed my life
I recently attended a Product Anonymous networking event hosted by A Cloud Guru: The Life and Times of an Entrepreneur, featuring special guest speakers, Grant Hatamosa from Zen Ecosystems, Shannon Gilleland from Form-I-Baby and Carl Rigoni from SixSix. The event was geared toward coming together as a product management community and supporting each other through our individual journeys; whether it be as an entrepreneur, a product engineer or anyone with a slight interest in product management. Right up my alley! Kicking off with the presenters each sharing a lightbulb moment, we heard tales of how passion drove them each to become an entrepreneur, and what this means for them on a day to day basis. Whilst each story was unique, there were some common and complementary perspectives from these entrepreneurs so I thought I’d share with my product community some key takeaways… What makes a Product Manager ‘great’? Often referred to as the mini-CEO, this person wears many hats. They have a good grasp on all the skills and attributes that make up the role, and have the ability to deliver on those being all those things eg. support, engineer, designer, etc. They are rounded enough to be able to influence all the disciplines that go into the product from inception all the way through to the market launch and
Scaling a start-up can be challenging. Budgets may be tight, roles are still being defined and systems put into place. Your first hires are vital to your company’s growth and success, and will become defining players in creating the culture. You need the best people, no pressure right?