Limiting Factors

April 20, 2013

in Culture, Leadership, Team Building

An important job for startup leaders is to identify and remedy the limiting factors holding the business back. A few months ago, I ran across this post that described the stages of limiting factors for startups:

At the outset of a startup, engineering throughput can be a limiting factor; the team simply can’t code fast enough. At some point, the product launches but no one knows about it. Marketing is the bottleneck. When customers come rushing through the door, money in hand, sales and customer support might stunt the growth of the company. Other times it’s culture or product market fit or money or competition. But for each startup at every stage there is a limiting factor.

We’ve faced each of these phases of limiting factors:  engineering, marketing, customer support, culture, product/market fit, money, and competition. Today we face a challenge of finding, hiring, and on-boarding new people to deliver on the demand for our ArrayFire product.

Finding people is tough. We can no longer rely on inbound job applicants. The quantity of quality of inbound applicants is not there. For this reason, we have started to look outbound over the last several months. If you know any ace CUDA or OpenCL developers, let us know.

Hiring people is tough, even with an attractive offer. Some people just aren’t ready to leave the predictability of a big-company experience.

On-boarding is tough. Everyone that was already in the company has a full plate. They were already oversubscribed which is why we are hiring in the first place. But now we have to train and on-board new hires. That adds even more onto people’s plates. Immediately after hiring, things can get worse before they get better. Once people are sufficiently trained and humming along, productivity turns the corner.

What limiting factors is your startup facing and how do you overcome them?


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