Lately, I’ve had the good fortune to hang out with some real start-up all stars - teams building cool companies and changing the world. Amidst their trendy perks, there is something special about these teams, how they work, and how they behave. In short, it comes down to this - relentless goal orientation. These teams are so wired into the plan, so clear about what it takes to meet the objective, nothing can stand in their way.
Big corporate teams would salivate at this level of clarity and accountability. Sometimes, you see attempts to reproduce the productivity with free food or other goodies, to little effect - as if the gap was superficial. Instead, the issue is much more substantial - the goals are unclear, or acheiving them is not within the sole accountability of the owner, watering down the blame if it doesn’t get done.
Management training tells us to set goals and measure results. Some do it better than others. But nobody does it like a start-up - heads down, locked on target, measuring results relentlessly, and getting results. It comes so naturally, and it really is what makes them killer Davids in a Goliath world.