Leadership in Startups: Upside Down at 150 People
- Have some professional work experience (minimum 1 year)
- Experience at startups (or fast growing companies) is helpful, but not required
- Leadership experience is helpful, but not required
"Something weird happens to companies when they hit 150 people". This was the title of an article I read on Quartz last year and after reading it, my reaction was:
"Yes! That's it. Finally, someone understands what startups go through!!"
For context, my name's Dinesh Thiru and I run marketing here at Udemy. I joined way back in 2011 when we were about 5 people and have seen us through the whole wild startup ride of ups, downs, sideways, back ups and more. It's been incredible. The learning and leadership experience of a lifetime. But there was one time in particular that no one prepared me for...
In the summer of 2015, Udemy was 150 people... and by the end of 2016, we were 250. And that is when everything went upside down.
All the things that used to work stopped. All the things we thought would work didn't. And in a certain sense, we had to re-invent how we operated as a company.
And I blame it all on Robbin Dunbar.
Who's Robbin? Why did things go upside down at 150 people? What did we learn? And how did we survive?
Well, if your startup is getting ready to pass 150 people and you're looking for a leadership crash course on mission, vision, strategy, culture, team building, org design, goals, communication, and everything in between... please step inside!
- Leadership of startups between 30 and 300 people
- Team members of startups between 30 and 300 people
- People thinking about joining startups between 30 and 300 people
- Dunbar's Number01:16
- The Course01:34
- Yearly Goals & Objectives04:01
- Org Design04:40
- Career Pathing02:58
- Decision Making03:03
- Leadership Team03:14
- Annual Retreat04:32
- Meeting Norms01:53
- Summing It All Up02:38
Dinesh is an entrepreneur, marketer, karaoke lover, and father of two (1 human, 1 dog) living the good life in San Francisco. He's the SVP of Marketing at Udemy, responsible for sales, user acquisition, and retention with both students & instructors. He was the first business hire at Udemy and has helped the marketplace grow to more than 15 million students and 40,000 courses published.
Prior to Udemy, Dinesh was the co-founder and president of the Viv Biz Club, an eco buying group that drives down prices on eco-friendly supplies for small businesses, and a consultant for American Express. Dinesh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.