My biggest mistake as a founder. Why nobody taught me that?
I have founded four start-ups. 2 got failed, 1 was a profitable venture and the last is the one I’m still working on and have raised the seed round as well. As an entrepreneur, I have made many mistakes. But today I will tell you about the one that has the highest impact on my success or failure. It was something that I felt was not so important initially but after all these years I feel I was wrong. And the evil is a lack of documentation of key things I’m working on or need to work on. Being a passionate techie, I always believed in instant execution. It’s a good thing, right? Hmmm, to some extent yes but when you are working alone as a developer-only. If you are a founder or manager who needs to manage even a small team, documentation of key things becomes really important. Why? Let me tell you a small story. One day, I discussed something in a development meeting and I started working on dev tasks. Later, I had another meeting with the AI team and now, I remember my AI tasks and work on the same. What about left Dev tasks? Guess what I forgot. Even my developers and ML engineers could work only on those things that they could remember after we discussed. And as a manager, I could follow up on things only that I could remember. It resulted in 50% less productivity across the team. This number will be even horrible if you have a team of more than 4-5 people. So, if you also feel that you are working to your 100% but not getting 100% output then start documenting your work. It might not solve the problem but will help you to troubleshoot where you are lacking and on what things you are spending your precious time. For tasks management, I prefer Trello. And for getting those action items from meetings and meeting notes, I use Instaminutes (https://www.instaminutes.com/). We need to work smartly to outperform. Aren't we? Please upvote only if you also feel that documenting key things is important. Please let us know in the comment, if you do document your work and how you do it.
I've also had a few startups and I agree 100% that you need an external brain if you want to be able to be efficient in changing your context. When you have a team that is semi-what dependent on you, getting interrupted is natural during the working hours, so having everything written down enables you to efficiently change focus and return back to what you were doing. I literally chat with myself on a discord (my personal server) during the day, and then organize things for tomorrow in my Notion or Workflowly depending on a context.
@hey_shiva for sure, we all talk to ourselves when we think, this is (at least for me) a way I can efficiently continue that internal conversation after interruption of sorts 😄
I appreciate the post Shivam - I try to complete a lot of documentation and task management through ClickUp so I have a solid idea of what I've done and what I still need to do. Are there any platforms you use for collaboration within your teams?
@paul_vanzandt yes. Paul mostly I use Slack for communication, Trello for Project management and Instaminutes for getting key points from meetings to Slack conversation or Trello card.
@hey_shiva If you need to use a real-time collaboration tool, give us a try :) app.frescopad.com
I completely agree with you that documenting the tasks is very important. And I usually use Sticky Notes, Notion, and Trello to document all my tasks. Instaminutes seem like a great tool. I will try it out.
@qudsia_ali Yes. Instaminutes fills the gap between meetings and other task management tools whether is Sticky notes, Notion or Trello. BTW am also a great fan of Sticky notes. I do copy paste key points from Instaminutes to sticky notes :)