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SPINJam: corporates vs startups

Last night the SPIN committee hosted the 95th SPIN meeting, and our third annual SPINJam. We had a panel discussion on the topic of “Software Product Development at Corporations and Startups.” Some interesting points were raised by the panel members and the audience. Below are a few that stood out for me.

Process is always the first thing to be blamed when something goes wrong. In startups, process tends to light; in corporates it tends to be rigid and heavy.

- Nobukhosi Dlamini

Perhaps a more important question than startup or corporate is supportoing a system or developing a product. This informs the culture and style of a company.

- Angus Miller

These days, there are a large number of developers for whom the job is a profession, not a passion.

- Mike Jones

Small team size is important. Teams need to have ownership of their work, and autonomy. Amazon works with teams smaller than 10 people.

- Jaco van der Merwe

People join startups not for the money, but for the values and ideals.

- Nobukhosi Dlamini

Look for people who want to be great at what they do: craftsmen, and reward them well for it.

- Angus Miller

Relationships are more important than money.

- Mike Jones

Lots of startups are spin-offs from or branches of a corporate.

- Olaf Aab

“Where’s the one with the grey hair?” It helps to have someone experienced on a startup team; they have the business savvy.