Of late, how companies are run and how they manage their people has been grabbing more of my attention. It is a crazy world out there right now with most of the traditional benchmarks and rules being thrown out of the window.
There used to be a time when ten years meant not much in setting up and establishing a company and impacting the industry it belonged to in any significant manner. Cut to the present and you will see companies with billion dollar valuations being set up and turning the market upside down in time frames that are considerably shorter than that.
This is a blog entry that really is not out there to say much other than express a sense of wonder at how things have changed. Case in point is the outgoing Red Hat CEO’s message to the world about his impending departure. It was published on the company blog of all places.
The entry is written much on the lines of an informal blog post, reminiscing and ruminating on how the company has grown over the years and even reading in places like a 21st century version of Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire“.
For someone like me, who has spent most of his career doing the one-man-army thing, the past two years of running a decent sized team and dealing with issues related to it has been an educating experience that no fancy MBA or any amount of money can buy. And one of the wonderful things about the internet is to be able to read and cull from such a vast amount of personal experience from others like Szulik.
Sometimes, among all this talk of billion dollar valuations, turnovers and product lines that can change the world in less than five year cycles, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that even these amazing companies are also headed and run by people, just like any other set up.
If you were to look at it that way, there is a lot to be learned and even more to aspire to, for everyone, provided we are willing to go the whole hog and be systematic, disciplined and always keep the longer term perspective firmly in our sights.