9 Tips for Running a 'Tween' Company

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Always Keep Improving the Culture

Every company has a culture and, as a company grows up and takes on the awesome responsibility of more customers, partners and employees, the original culture needs to grow up along with that process. Let me tell you, culture is hard to change – especially if you don't differentiate between the good culture and the bad culture, because there are both. When you hear comments like ‘we have always done it that way’ or ‘great idea, but you won't convince the bosses,’ this might indicate bad culture and you should take steps to isolate it through new processes, peer-supplied alternatives or prioritization changes. Faster than you think, the bad culture will begin to recede.
— Art Landro, CEO of Sencha

Entrepreneurs and leadership teams have challenges and obstacles that are unique to each phase of a business lifecycle. As an entrepreneur and/or key leader in a startup or growth company, you have to be flexible in your thinking and adapt your strategy as you progress the business. As a company grows, different strategies and approaches are required; for example, moving from initial market penetration to what is required to achieve growth or retain market share.

Sumo Logic CEO Ramin Sayar has his own unique view on the stage that comes after the initial startup phase,

"This is a strange, yet exciting stage of a business lifecycle — I call it the 'tween' stage. We don't have the carefree attitude of a startup or the secure feelings of a more mature, late stage company ready for IPO (a teenager) — we are in the middle and have our own challenges and opportunities as a company in this stage."

In this slideshow, Ramin and two other CEOs, Charles Ramsey of Sauce Labs, and Art Landro of Sencha, share their views and tips with other entrepreneurs and companies falling within this "in between" stage in the business lifecycle.


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