Most of you know that we operate from Shimla. A small city by comparison with Silicon cities of India. Its very tough to find experienced or highly skilled people in these beautiful mountains. So we had no option but to build a powerful, aggressive and intense training system which can train freshers (with an aptitude) to be converted into marines.
These days we are training a new team. A team of freshers, from different educational backgrounds; commerce, science, MBA, mass-com etc. This team will be helping the content network move more aggressively. You might be surprised by our choice of team members, you might even argue on our decision of putting them in a single team. But we only hire on the basis of aptitude, not on experience or educational background. All of them might have different educational backgrounds; but they have lots of common things like hunger to learn, work under any pressure, no compromise for quality and a killer attitude.
This new team is also an all-girls team. (We inducted few guys, but had to let them go in a week after failing to cope with the pressure). These girls from the day one, have been given tough assignments and a limited time to complete them. Yesterday, many of them felt that the tasks are very tough owing to the limited time. They required more time as they didn't wanted to compromise on the quality.
Tough assignment is a sign of respect
My argument to the All-Girls Marine team was that the tough assignment is a sign of respect. I would never ask our office cook to do this assignment. Not because I don't respect our cook, I respect him deeply for his contributions, but I don't trust him doing content assignments. The toughness of the task is proportional to the respect you command. I don't expect everyone to pass the training, and few might leave in between, which is actually fine, and I totally respect that. My father used to say, not every peak is a Mt.Everest. Every hill, mountain range has its own peak.
One of the reasons, Instablogs has reached to this level (we still have miles to go), is that we had limited funds when we started. $1000 in cash and another $2000 in credit cards. Failure was not an option. We had extreme pressure to become profitable in next 3 months or go out of the business. I was a first time entrepreneur and had no knowledge of VC industry at that time. So to grow the business, the only option was to become profitable and nothing else.
Fortunately, we had limited funds.
This line of thinking may go against popular thoughts, but I feel that if we had good funds, lets say $50,000 or $100,000 at the time of start, we had a higher chance of going out of the business in few months. It was that pressure of limited resources, which forced us to think out of the box. I still remember the pilot team working at a stretch for 48 hours to launch the site on time. We were sleeping for 3-5 hours those days. One of the readers even suggested a new name for us– ROBN - Reverse Order Blog Network. We were anything but normal.
Fortunately, we had limited funds. Fortunately, we had limited time. Fortunately it was tough to do. If it was easy, everybody would have been doing it. Today I believe that limited funds at that time was a sign of respect by god to us, and one of the primary reason for whatever success we have today.
So next time you face a challenge, consider it as a sign of respect by god. A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure. Its only those who are fortunate enough are bestowed with pressure of tough times.
P.S.: New team is working with full throttle again. Why? Because, fortunately, this is tough to do. :)