It’s a dog eat dog world. The animal world provides insights and advice for new entrepreneurs. Some examples below:
- Free as a bird – New founders should allow their creativity to fly freely and unencumbered.
- Hard working as an ant – Remember this little critter works hard all winter to ensure the future.
- Playful as a kitten – Entrepreneurs should have fun creating their business.
- Brave as a lion – Startup owners must bravely enter new territories, and compete head to head with other companies.
- Quiet as a mouse – Although it is important to get noticed, being too boisterous is counterproductive for new entrepreneurs.
- Fast as a rabbit – Before you’re done reading this post, another business has gone obsolete. Founders must be nimble and quick.
It’s day 1 of the Startup Weekend Dublin and the room is packed with almost 100 people looking to have an amazing time in the next 54 hours at Google HQ.
One can almost have the feeling as you walk through the door that it’s going to be the best edition so far. “Such a great diversity in the room, feel almost like having one person per country” – Aimee said, she’s one of the organizers for this edition.
Dinner was made possible by another fantastic sponsor – Burritos and Blues. They’ve been always there keeping our belly right and they surprised us with an interesting item on the menu – The Silver Bullet. You’d have to ask Paddy Quinlan about that. Let’s just say spicy is the word.
We definitely give it up to the amazing people who have come in to experience this weekend. It’s definitely going to epic. There are many new faces in the room and a few returnees. We’ve got a good representation of genders and cultures in the room too.
Let the fun begin!
Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today’s businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit’s warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for “smart simplicity.”
(Rule One: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)
When employer-review website Glassdoor rated the top 50 places to work for, technology companies made up almost half the list. It’s clear that the IT sector does it better, with a focus on work-life balance and plenty of employee perks.
But which tech companies are leading the way?
1. Twitter: Microblogging Platform Outranks the Rest
Microblogging social media platform Twitter came out on top of the tech heap in Glassdoor’s 2014 rankings with an enviable rating of 4.6 out of 5. No wonder its employees are so happy; its San Francisco headquarters seems more like a luxury resort than an office space with its yoga studio, rooftop garden, and arcade parlour. It also doesn’t hurt that its software engineers are amongst the best paid in the United States. They typically make $142,863 annually, which is $50k more than the national average.
Twitter isn’t run by a faceless board either. Company chief executive officer Dick Costolo is particularly popular, with an approval rating of 96 percent.
“Twitter is an exceptionally transparent place,” one Twitter director told Glassdoor. “Senior team sets that bar very high. Also, we are charting our own course – not copying the playbook set out by other companies.”
2. Grafix Softech: Interactive Workplace Values Employee Contributions
Indian-born businessman Tej Kohli was an e-commerce pioneer when he founded his first company, Grafix Softech, in Costa Rica in 1998. Creating secure e-payment solutions continues to be the company’s focus, although it’s expanded its operations to provide more comprehensive business services including creative marketing campaigns and search engine optimization from its offices around the world.
Grafix Softech’s diverse interests present exciting challenges for its employees, but it’s Tej Kohli himself that makes working for this global tech company so appealing. Despite having many business interests, he continues to take an active role in his premiere company. He looks beyond credentials and evaluates potential employees on their personal strengths. He believes that nurturing his workforce’s talents is the secret to business success, so he takes the time to listen to his employees, communicate with them, and reward them for outstanding performance.
This personalized approach makes Grafix Softech workers feel more valued and happier than many others in the industry. No wonder the majority of Grafix Softech employees have worked for the company for at least a decade, much more than the average 5.4 years that most Americans spend in any one position.
3. Riot Games: Popular CEO Heads Leading Games Firm
If computer games are your passion, a position at Riot Games should be at the top of your wish list. Its standards are high, but if you can keep up you’ll embrace the opportunity to learn and grow under beloved CEO Brandon Beck. He is so well-regarded that he has a virtually unheard of approval rating of 100 percent.
Beck’s popularity may have something to do with the enviable workspace he’s created for his valued employees. It includes a fully stocked kitchen and bright office space to maximize productivity. Riot Games also strives to offer a good work-life balance to its employees who enjoy flexible working hours.
All these benefits led one employee to comment on Glassdoor, stating “Everyone here is immensely passionate about what they do, and if you aren’t learning something every day, you must be in the wrong office. The company takes ridiculously good care of us, and tries every step of the way to make sure we’re engaged culturally, intellectually and socially with the industry and each other. It’s by far the best place I’ve ever worked.”
4. Google: Setting the Standard
Google has always been regarded as one of the best tech companies to work for. The world’s largest Internet search engine and the creator of the Android mobile platform has featured prominently on Glassdoor’s list for the last six years. Business networking website LinkedIn also names Google the world’s most in demand employer.
The standards are high but employees who meet them are rewarded with plenty of perks. There are more than 15 cafes on the main campus in Mountain View alone, and all snacks, drinks, and meals are provided free of charge.
Workers also enjoy complimentary onsite haircuts and the use of laundry and gym facilities. If the stress of the job ever becomes too much, employees can unwind with video games, table soccer, and ping pong.
Anyone serious about their craft will appreciate the opportunities to learn at Google just as much as the enticing extras. “The older teams, such as infrastructure and apps have people who can teach you more in an hour than you learn many places in your entire tenure,” one Google software engineer posted at Glassdoor. Its innovative 20 percent time program also gives employees the chance to balance their regular tasks with fulfilling work on special pet projects.
5. Atlassian Software Systems: Paving the Way Down Under
Atlassian Software Systems might not be an international household name, but tech workers around the world hold this Australian company in high esteem. In 2013, leading Australian business magazine BRW named the local tech company the second best place to work in Oz. It was also the top information technology firm on the prestigious list.
The Atlassian team has developed software for some of the world’s leading companies including Facebook, Netflix, eBay, and Twitter. Workers at its Sydney, San Francisco, and Amsterdam offices are encouraged to “build with heart and balance” and “play as a team.” Those employees who go the extra mile are rewarded for their efforts with Kudos in the form of gift certificates to Amazon, iTunes, and local retailers.
All “Atlassians” enjoy plenty of perks including five paid days off a year for charity work, study programs, and a 20 percent pet project scheme similar to Google’s initiative. All Atlassian offices also offer on-site yoga classes, bike facilities, Xbox consoles and billiards tables, and fully stocked kitchens. A good work-life balance and a long-term commitment to the company is encouraged with employees receiving a paid trip, to the value of $3,000 for Aussies and Americans and 2,300 euro for Dutch employees, after five years’ service.
A career with one of these innovative, employee-focused tech companies will deliver the security you need with the job satisfaction you’ve always hoped for.