Your startup is an experiment and every experiment needs two types of people- the young and curious types who believe anything can be done and the grey-haired folks who've seen it all- a great deal of zeal, but tempered with just the right amount of skepticism. Both need to learn from each other to build a great organization.
The young engineer, let's call him Michael Corleone, can think out-of-the-box and come up with completely novel ways of hacking around a problem. He can do it really fast in the short term but he doesn't know what's gonna break 12 months from then. At a very early stage, it doesn't really matter either as you don't know what's gonna happen in 12 months. The priority at the time is to build and ship things faster and get user feedback to improve on it.
However, as the startup matures, things created by Michael start breaking. Now, you need a Tom Hagen who has been there, done that, and learned from them. Once you start taking a long-term view of your product, it becomes pertinent to have senior engineers on the team who can act as consiglieri to the young ones and guide them.
If you're an experienced engineer, it's not so easy to change your role and join a startup. This is extremely exciting and challenging at the same time because you need to:
- Believe in the larger vision of the company- It's very important for the consigliere to believe in the startup's larger vision and the problem it's trying to solve. This alignment ensures that the day-to-day tasks do not obfuscate the overarching goal of why the company exists in the first place.
- Have a rough roadmap leading to that vision- Now that you understand and relate to your startup's north star, you need to have an idea of how the company is going to reach there. You should be able to draw a strategic roadmap for your team that aligns with the larger vision.
- Be able to convert that roadmap into small actionable steps- Once the roadmap is in place, you need to be able to break it down into parts and turn it into actionable items that you and your team can execute every month/quarter.
- Be able to guide your team without micromanaging- Your team would look up to you for guidance on how to execute those steps efficiently. While it's your job to guide them through the process, avoiding the micromanagement trap is the key. Don't hold all the fires from happening, even if you have the ability to pre-empt it because you know that is the only way to learn.
I had someone who played this role for me and now I am looking for yet another consigliere to join our engineering team at Locale!
But why should you?
Every once in a while, a product comes to life that makes people wonder, why was this not done earlier? We at Locale believe that's the massive opportunity we have stumbled upon. The world right now is just scratching the surface of geospatial data and its possibilities: think about it! Everything which is moving in the real world will require analysis geospatially: people, vehicles, goods, couriers, cargo, and so on! There is very little of it happening right now and so, there is a complete blue ocean out there to be conquered.
At Locale, we are creating a new category, building a product that our users love and that we would always be proud of. Our vision is to become the "God Mode" for every commercial asset that moves in the world.
In building our product, one of the biggest challenges we're trying to solve is that of handling scale. Geo-time data is being collected at a large scale and high frequency and we need to build robust pipelines and systems. We're still an early stage startup. So along with all of this, comes the added challenge of building a team and a company from scratch. There is a different kind of joy to that!
If you're a senior engineer who can relate to this and if these challenges excite you, please check this role out.