When I started Typemock I was the Inventor, it was great fun, I did everything from developing to marketing to sales. I worked until 4:00 am learning and discovering and it was an amazing time.
Typemock started to grow and I had to bring in more people to help me, it started with support and then development.
But bringing in more people didn’t really help me, it didn’t really clear my time to do other things, the opposite, I found that I was the bottleneck of the company.
This is what I thought a company should look like, the manager is on top, he tells the employees what to do, and they do things that will help our customers.
But it didn’t work this way. I had to tell the employees what to do, the employees kept on asking me for help, because they didn’t know how to solve their problems, which in turn made me solve the problems.
The company actually looked upside down, I was at the bottom, the customers where requesting my help in making unit testing simple and the employees where asking my help to finish their tasks.
The employees where managing me, and although I was telling them what to do, they kept on returning the problems to me, I was doing code reviews and support and sales.
Lets take a salesman for example. At one point, there where so many sales that I needed help. I decided to employ a salesman. I had the notion that I must employ someone who knows how to sell, so I must get the best sales person I can. It took me 4 months to find a sales person, and once he was on board, I told him. “Ok, here’s your quota, go and do your job”. This never worked, the sales person spend a week on our CRM system, and after a week he said. “I can’t work with this system, it is really bad”. When I asked why, the employee told me that he can’t add the products to the sales. So I went and showed him how to do this. But this didn’t really help, the guy kept on coming back with problems, some where really simple, some where complex, but instead of taking the load off of me, I found myself in his office helping him all the time.
This was about the same time that I decided that I need coaching and the first thing that Moti the coach told me was that the company is upside down. And that I have to build a strong supporting system to make sure that the upside down pyramid does not topple down
I needed to build a strong management and to learn how to delegate correctly.
I started using the Integrity techniques to try and turn things around. I started asking the salesman, what can you do to help Typemock? Can you commit to this? Are these Controllable actions? But because I didn’t know myself what actions where needed to reach the goals, the salesman also didn’t as he was used to a completely different sales cycle. After much frustration, we departed. I sent 4 months searching for this person and 2 months working with him, and it didn’t work. This was really depressing.
I had to learn how to do this correctly. I had to do the sales myself, I spent a month doing all of the sales and learning about it, learning about what works and what doesn’t. Only after I understood what actions are required to make the sale, did I look for a salesman. Now that I knew exactly what was needed to be done, I could get the right person for the job. With that person, the knowledge of the sales process and Integrity, I have the right tools to build the management, and create an amazing company.