Every company goes through one of either scenarios: (1) go belly up, or (2) become successful. If a company goes under, that's the end of the story for that company. If a company becomes successful, again, it goes throgh one of either scenarios: (a) remain successful for a long time, or (b) lose sight of success after some time and decays to oblivion.
No company is set up to fail rightaway, just as no employee is looking to fail at the job right after clinching the job. Every company, like every new employee, is looking to succeed.
The trouble is, when a company reaches some degree of success, new people other than the founders are brought in, with diverse backgrounds, varied interests and passions, and sometimes, even divergent views and objectives.
When that happens, a company can begin to behave like a giant (it may well be, or it may simply behave like one). That means longer, more tedious and sometimes counter-productive business processes that retard and sometimes trip up employees in doing their jobs well, or worse, retarding the growth of the company altogether, leading it to spiral dangerously downwards.
Therefore, at any stage of its existence, a company should always encourage a startup mentality and culture. Its people should always strive for courage, foresight, creativity, imagination, and of course, adhering to the same shared corporate vision and growth objectives. Google, for example, is often cited as an exciting company of such characteristics - growing strong, and yet retaining the startup atmostphere.
Never be afraid to be nimble on your feet in chasing customers and markets, fast with your hands in seizing opportunities, and above all, retaining the bright spark in you that says, "I am an exciting startup", whatever the size of your company may be.
Copyright(c) 2011 Seamus Phan. All rights reserved.