Managing Typical Workload and Pressure when a Start-Up is Acquired

Matt Martin

CEO at Clockwise



"It is difficult to balance the demands of his new role and to deal with the new work set-up."

Our start-up was recently acquired by an organization in a fast evolving industry. In the new set-up, my team was expected to continue to operate as a SAAS business, and in parallel deliver everything on the AI front. This dual role, coupled with the huge expectation I had to establish a product driven organization and lead the Product Development team, was dividing my attention and I could hardly finish my deliverables. This had also impacted my personal life since I needed to adjust to the work schedule of my remote manager from different time zone, and attend offsite meetings on the fly.

Actions taken

"The first practical action was to make a weekly calendar to schedule the most important fixed items/tasks that were not going to change or could not be moved- and add sleep into it to avoid burnout."

But beyond scheduling, the purpose was to have an evidence to bring to the CTO to justify the need to hire additional people who could take the other responsibilities off me. We would draw up a plan on how to get some of the tasks off my plate so that I could focus on growing and leading a solid product development team.

"The second advice would be on hiring people and how to do this more efficiently. Bring more voices to the process or a third party to help out."

This helps achieve higher success rate for hiring for non-technical/managing positions.

Lessons learned

"Excessive workload, absence of structure, overwhelming expectations and of course, stress, are typical challenges to face when a start-up team joins another organization."

The key lesson here is understanding the new set up and adjusting appropriately to the situation. It greatly helps to step back so you can make a good analysis of the scenario, see where you can get support from, and create a sound action plan. Sometimes this requires a mindset change and using "basic" management best-practices, like delegate more, empower other people by giving them additional responsibility, get more out of your plate so you can do more of the bigger and critical tasks that your role really calls for.

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Matt Martin

CEO at Clockwise

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