I finished reading Founders at Work. Very interesting. If you have built a startup (me), plan to (me again, in the future) or even if you are employed by one (me right now), you can relate.
Someone told me in reaction to Paul Graham’s Why to Not Not Start a Startup that one requirement missing was “passion close to absolute obsession.” Graham does have a chapter in Founders at Work. The other featured entrepreneurs have that passion, of course.
What can employees learn? The obvious thing is: work better and earn more, so you could go start up! Think how you can plan for your startup years in advance. What if you don’t want to? Then, how to get the startup attitude and apply it to your job. What if your job conspires against you to do that? Then perhaps the startup attitude is something you can apply to something else in your life.
What can managers learn? How to encourage their team to work like a startup. Of course, they can’t offer as much reward, and don’t put as much at risk. But even without the financial risks and rewards, startup thinking can lead to better performance. The challenge to the manager, management and the stakeholders is how to cultivate the environment that will drive that level of performance.