I live in a highrise apartment in mid-town Toronto, but I come from a small town where my mom still to this day grows a massive garden full of fruits and vegetables, which also houses the animals who at times think they're entitled to all they can eat buffets.
It's great to buy fresh veggies at the store, but oh so much more rewarding to grow your own and eat the "fruits" of your labor at some point down the road. Today is a beautiful sunny day in Toronto so I was motivated to go out earlier today, and grab plants at the local greenery. I came home with a couple grape tomato plants, and a couple sweet pepper plants, as pictured above. The transplanting into pots will come this weekend, and I hope to also grab some more plants to build out my garden and take full advantage of all the amazing sunshine I get facing southward towards beautiful Lake Ontario.
As an entrepreneur I now think of these 4 plants as being part of my "garden accelerator" program. I'm determined to see each plant succeed, and I'll provide whatever it takes to maximize their return.
When I was carrying the plants home I was thinking about how they as products, and the process of growing them relates to the startup process, so I got fired up to publish a post for lessons on the association.
- Select the strongest plants - With startup companies the most important element are the individuals behind them. Attract the strongest individuals possible, and be sure to hire slow and fire fast.
- Have a variety of plants - Each individual within a startup should bring a unique set of experience, skill sets, perspective, and personality which can mesh well with others in the organization.
- Plants need water and sunshine - Startups need to build problem-solving products and nurture those products until they can generate revenues, and ideally profits from them long-term.
- Pick off the dead leaves - Startups must trim their declining products, employees, and customers. Just look at what Google is doing with their Reader product, they are killing it off on July 1st because it's not worth the investment anymore. Fortunately Google Reader's death will see Feedly and other RSS reader startups grow like a weed as Google's users look for new solutions. I'm a loyal 7 year Google Reader user but will be taking my feeds and eyeballs to Feedly, at least initially to see if it meets my needs. Looks like they are getting ready for many new users as you can see all the new Dell servers they just ordered (pictured below) to handle the high anticipated demand this Summer.
- Plants need room to grow - Startups need room to grow too, but it takes time, energy, passion, and patience. Offices should be welcoming, be of decent sizes so individuals aren't cramping each other's styles and creativity, and provide a framework for cultures to emerge in an organic and authentic way.