Working Toward a New Vision
2 June, 2021
I was in a start-up for around two years, eventually becoming VP of Engineering. We were acquired, so our old priorities were put aside and all of our efforts were then directed toward new cases with our new leadership.
That was a huge challenge for me. I was used to having my CEO and founder who was the person setting the vision, and now I found myself taking on that part of the role when it came to these new product decisions. I had to kind of wrap my head around the vision and then lay it out for the team. My main goal was to make sure that the mission was successful.
To do that, I really wanted my team to deliver something in about a year. I established a vision, getting some feedback from the founder. There were a lot of unknowns to figure out, we were really doing the entire thing from scratch with new technology. It actually ended up taking us two years instead of only one, but we all grew a lot.
Six months in, I was finally able to hire a product manager. Initially, I was trying to take on a lot of the burden myself, People managing became a lot easier, both technically and from that personal standpoint. I was finally becoming a manager of managers. I was also learning how to manage up effectively, talking to my own VP and instilling confidence in our ability to deliver.
There was always something new coming up, whether it was legal, marketing-related, or technical. We did a lot of user testing, as well. I got to deal with a lot of early beta customers. It was great, but I really learned to delegate more in order to maintain more control over more pieces of the puzzle.
- I learned not to get too much into the details and to think in a longer term time frame versus an immediate one.
- My initial goal was to not be too aggressive, but meeting my goals more quickly probably would have been better in the long run.
- I would have also probably worked to hire more people upfront. That would have gotten that mentorship effort off to a start much more quickly.
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