Business. What does it really mean?
This is a question I've asked myself many times in the last few years, astounded by a seemingly endless stream of Forbes' lists promising the 12 most effective ways to grow your company. Nobody reads these, right? Or if people do read them, nobody believes them, right? Right? One of the most interesting parts of my job is being able to speak with CEOs of successful companies within Utah and ask them this question: What do you think enabled the growth of your company?
Now, let's note the difference between "a company" and "your company," because even the most successful businesses are going to have things that employees want changed. There isn't a measure of correct guidelines that apply to every company--do these certain things and you will grow--so it falls to company founders to determine what is most important to them, then act. This can vary company to company, but having core principles is the starting point. In the same way that there's a million different ways to lose weight--some people are going to strap an electronic apparatus around their midsection and zap themselves into oblivion during Judge Judy episodes, others are going to eat greens and bike in the mountains--there's a million different ways to grow a company. So learn what you can from everybody around you, take the individual principles that best apply, and start building.
Karl Sun worked for Google back in the days when that name wasn't synonymous with global domination. Coming aboard a company of less than 500 people--which is by no means small, but also nowhere near the 60,000+ that currently work for Google--Sun was able to observe a lot of things that pertain to growing a business, eventually using that knowledge to start Google's China office. Eventually he left Google and settled down in Utah, meeting a young college student named Ben Dilts and starting Lucid Software in 2010. Though this was his first go-round building from the ground up, Sun (as CEO) has been able to help lift Lucid to lofty heights by applying many Google-inspired practices to create a company of 100+ employees, fresh off a $36 million Series B round that inspired some of the world's brightest minds to collaborate on a Lucidpress-enhanced poem.
So what does he see as the key factor in Lucid's growth? "Having great people around you is the fundamental key to success for a startup," said Sun. "I modeled our philosophy here based on Google and what I saw there...