3 Start-Up Crazes Worth Avoiding

16 February, 2017
Sarah

3 Start-Up Crazes Worth Avoiding

16 February, 2017
The notion that the start-up culture fad has gone too far is definitely one that we here at Instant Impact are happy to stick our hand up and disagree with. But, what’s the saying? Every joke is based in a hint of truth? Whilst for us, start-ups are much more than just a buzzword, there are certain crazes and fazes rippling through the scene that don’t do wonders for our reputation.

We can’t help feeling that, as advocates of start-ups, scale-ups and all things entrepreneurial, we owe it to our fellow small business founders & employees to point out some of the less-desirable Start-up trends at the moment - and what you can do to avoid being seen as a mere “fad”.

FORCED INNOVATION

Telling your employees to innovate is like meeting a comedian and brandishing a hot iron at them until they tell a joke. And no doubt it won’t make you laugh.

Innovation requires a change of strategy and direction that takes into account long-term objectives, rather than short-term fixes. Encouraging employees to think innovatively, approaching their day jobs in different ways that may be more efficient, simpler or quicker, will undoubtedly help to improve processes and contribute to growth.

The problem here, is forced innovation will rely too much on reactive change, overcoming small hurdles without looking at the bigger picture.

Yes, provide platforms for employees to share solutions and problem-solve collaboratively. Yes, encourage risk taking and the testing of ideas without repercussion. But no, don’t tell your employees to innovate - or even worse, to think innovatively - and leave it at that. Innovation is part of a much bigger picture that can’t be a simple top-down instruction, and must be a culture fostered to overcome both short- and long-term objectives.

OFFICE PETS

I have nothing against dogs (cats, guinea pigs or whatever other creatures you choose to adopt as mascots). In fact, my Cocker Alfie is the only dog that's made it into iiHQ - but in the form of his photo on my coffee mug. As much as I'm pro the theory of fluffy canine companion-come-colleagues providing wellness benefits to your team, I can't be the only one who's thinking about the practicalities here? Time spent feeding, walking, and distracting must surely add up - and there must be other ways to introduce and encourage wellness benefits besides pets?

At Instant Impact we have a daily 3.30pm stretching routine and other companies have group runs or yoga classes during lunch or after work. Providing alternative team activities that get you spending a little time with your colleagues out of the office can't be a bad thing?

My other concern around the office pet craze, is the notion that start-ups are relying on office pets to attract younger talent - we all know you don't want to attract talent purely based on your brand and culture. Over-selling perks and bragging about your pet as a means to attract candidates will drive applications for all the wrong reasons.

ACCOMMODATING MOBILE

There’s nothing more frustrating than a website that doesn’t work as you’d like it to from your mobile or tablet (in hindsight I can now think of plenty things that frustrate me more - see above - but the point remains).

As you scale, rebrand or simply age, you’ll undoubtedly redesign and relaunch your website. When you do this, don’t lose sight of the fact that sometimes, websites should be build for web, and also work on mobile, rather than built for mobile, and also work on web.

A site on your mobile that doesn’t work as planned is frustrating, but a site on your desktop that looks and acts like a mobile app can often be difficult to navigate, aesthetically confusing and lack the credibility you’ll want it to ooze. Whilst mobile exclusive designs can end up adding to the complexity of your site build, being pricey, don’t feel compelled to redesign your desktop website purely to accommodate for mobile.

By Instant Impact Principal Consultant, Ally Monk

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