Going from "Find Out" to "Roll Out"…

October 16th, 2007   |   by Frank Addante

We’ve all heard the term “we wear many hats,” especially in startup companies. That’s exactly how our team at the Rubicon Project has been operating. To date, our focus has been on developing a great product. After our beta invitation site launched last week, as I mentioned in my previous post, we received an absolutely overwhelming number of sign-ups.

Developing a product, getting feedback and refining the product based on that feedback is what I call the “Find Out” stage. Given the validation that we have received, it’s now time for us to move into the next stage of the business, or as I like to say, we’ve moving from “Find Out” to “Roll Out”.

The first step to prepare for roll out is to align and focus the team. To date, everyone has been “wearing many hats.” The team is strong and made up of “good athletes“; everyone jumps in to lend a hand wherever and whenever needed. I talked to everyone about the concept of “full-time jobs” versus “part-time” jobs. Their full-time job is what they wake up every morning thinking about and fall asleep worrying about. Their part time jobs are where they jump in to assist in someone else’s full-time job. I told everyone that we needed to assign “full-time” jobs to everyone for all the current major objectives of the business.

So, that’s exactly what we did. We took every major function of the business from product to ad operations to optimization to our beta program rollout and assigned a name to each. Each person in the company was assigned a “full-time job”.

The problem with “full-time” jobs is that people often get bored with them long-term. To mitigate that, we encourage people to take on part-time jobs that interest them. And, they are encouraged to take on new full-time jobs in the future, so no one is ever locked into one position permanently. But, the only rule is that in order for them to take on a new full-time job, they need to find someone else to take on their current one! =)

It’s a way of keeping focus and accountability in the organization while keeping things interesting for the team.

Next, we need to roll out our plan for dealing with the extremely positive response from our beta invitation site sign-ups. Tomorrow, I’m headed back to LA from the DMA conference in Chicago and I will write more about that plan when I get back…

PS – We’re hiring! Looking for A++ people in all positions, all levels.