Things learned from being part of a failed startup

Root Cause Analysis

  • Methods: The way the team approached the topic
  • Machines: The systems and processes we used to help us with the topic
  • People: The roles in the team that were involved in the topic
  • Materials: The input the team received around the topic
  • Measurements: How the team measured their effectiveness around the topic
  • Environment: The factors external to the team around the topic

Quality

Sacrificed quality for feature delivery

No one took ownership over quality

We didn’t practice iterative development as a company

We didn’t measure ourselves or our processes

Product Development

There was a product but no product team behind it

The solution to having no clear product owner was to delegate to a design committee

We never really validated the features we developed

Architecture

We made RADs the foundations of what we built instead of using them to test ideas

Solution was architected by one person not a team

Staff and Culture

Staff were not performance managed

The culture of the company at the start was around hacking

In conclusion

  • It’s important to have everyone taking ownership over quality and product direction
  • Don’t expect people to do everything to the same high standards you have, if you want those standards then measure their output and work with them to meet them
  • If you’re going to practice iterative development then don’t focus solely on the development team include all relevant parties in the iteration to reduce communication issues
  • Validate your potential features and architectural decisions to ensure they are the going to do the job correctly

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Currently building reciprocal.dev. Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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Colin Wren

Colin Wren

Currently building reciprocal.dev. Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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