Building a successful company and a great company culture is not a science… it’s rather an art. You can’t learn it from management and leadership books or at MBA courses. The know-how is given through tough experiments, hard work, a lot of lessons learned from life by failures.  One thing is definitely needed in order to be successful: the ongoing commitment towards people.

At the beginning entrepreneurs have only two assets, their capabilities and the vision.  If one of them is missing, they won’t take too far for sure. Let’s have a positive scenario here (which is pretty rare): They are able to find co-founders, after having the product-market fit they recruit their first employees (with company share options) for the scaling phase. Later on those employees will become leaders and recruit great professionals as employees while the start-up is becoming a mature company. The challenge here is to find the brightest people (the A players), to maintain the innovation capabilities of the team , convey the start-up culture and not to forget the vision that led the  founders at the beginning. Remember:

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link

Building a company while taking this into consideration sounds difficult, isn’t it?

Prezi, Ustream have decided to showcase numerous challenges on the road towards building an effective and innovation driven, creative, family-like company culture.  That’s why they have organized the great Stretch Conference on 5th and 6th December at the Urania Film Theatre, Budapest.

Sarah Novotny (Meteor Entertainment), Michael Lopp (author of Managing Humans), Francois Mazoudier (Equate, LD&A),  Andrew Stellman (author of the Beautiful teams book),  Dario Nardi (author of the Neuroscience of Personality), Andreas Ehn (Spotify ex-CTO) have shared their thoughts on leadership and management— and the art of how to stretch ourselves to become leaders instead of bosses.

People don’t quit their job, they quit their boss.

Knowing how to build up a successful global company from scratch is a rare skill and competency. The number of real serial tech entrepreneurs are very limited that have done it so far. Therefore educating the new generation of founders and prospective team leaders is essential.

Stretch Conference Organizers Source: Facebook

Stretch Conference Organizers (Gabor Torok (Prezi), Medea Baccifava (Prezi), Gergely Hodicska (Ustream) Source: Facebook Page of Stretch Conference

A successful company needs to act like a workplace where the talented employees feel themself comfortable, with interesting challenges and rewarding benefits. There is no ultimate answer how to do that.  The conference gave us a great insights about the challenges related creating a vision, building a team, getting funded, start operating as a company, building company culture, attract great talents, manage the internal processes while maintaining the fun of working at a startup and the ability to make an impact through a good product on the world.

Don’t become settled. Be a volatile

It is really hard to select among the great speeches, but you can find Some of our favourite talks below:

This conference has helped a lot to give some insights what are the difficulties that should be handled, what are the practices that worked for certain start-ups.  How to implement it, or translate it to the need of your startup? It is up to you and your leadership type!

Francois Mazourdier Tech Leaders Club, EQUATE  Source: Facebook Page of the Stretch Conference

Francois Mazoudier, LD&A, EQUATE
Source: Facebook Page of Stretch Conference

The organizers made available the online streaming of the event by the help of Ustream, that you can find here.

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