Rahul sat through another argument in the weekly catch-up. This time he didn’t want to break the fight. He just sat back with a blank look. It was like a movie he had seen many times before, yet was watching it once again at 11:30 PM in the night on TV.
Harsh and Ganesh started arguing about the customer the company just lost. And like the scene in the movie, the conversation predictably veered to an existential debate on process vs people. nth time. With Hash and Ganesh in one room, it always seems to go back to how we are losing our soul in trying to make ourselves more scalable.
Rahul had hired Ganesh 9 months ago to help manage his fast growing but mostly adrenaline driven start up. Ganesh, his senior at IIT, gave up a cushy lifestyle and large paycheck to join his team for means-nothing-to-be-President-in-a-start-up-title. Harsh was the superstar sales guy, who had joined him when no was willing to. Pretty much every early customer success has a Harsh scene in it.
Of course, no one was willing to hire Harsh-the-college-drop-out-pot-smoking-guitar-player-now-turned-enterprise-sales-superstar back then either. But how we forget and take the current baseline for granted. Hedonic treadmill effect.
Rahul needs Ganesh to slowly wean the team away from the constant desire to be super-heroes. He feels scared by the highly volatile environment and here-comes-superman-to-save-the-day. He has felt the risks.
Yet, he feels torn about seeing the disappointment in the eyes of all rebels-and-washouts he collected in building this company. In winning all the impossible battles through the years. The look they give him as he allows Ganesh to change how the company works. Isn’t-that-the-kind-of-place-we-ran-away-from-in-joining-you look? May be they are right.
As any company scales there will be inevitable conflicts between the rebels and professional warriors.
Have you seen them?
Have you been in one or been one?
What would you advice Rahul?
(Go beyond ‘it depends‘, ‘change is the only constant in life‘ or ‘holding opposing thoughts is a sign of a genius‘)
P.S. All views expressed are solely personal. Of course, everything is personal for me 🙂
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