First day at work – Contract

Today was first day at work at Spansion.

Usually, I can tell from the first day what kind of company I am at. There are typically four types of companies.

1. Small company with true entrepreneur culture: This type of company will succeed and grow. They tend to be efficient at decision making and go at 100 MPH in one direction with the entire company focused on the mission of the company. These are the future leaders of the new genre of industry. 

2. Small company with big company culture: This is very dangerous type and typically, they won’t last long. Often they are the spinoff of large companies, who try to be a start up. They may tout that they have the entrepreneur spirit but often it’s only a lip service. They behave like large company, like using bureaucracy to create fiefdom within the company. I worked for a company like that, with only 50 people, there were several power struggles that went on to ruin the company. They folded a couple of years later, despite a large commitment from the large company they came out of. 

3. Large company with entrepreneur culture:  This is a rare breed. Often the small companies need to behave like a startup company because they don’t have a second chance. You have to put your egos aside and work as a team to make the company successful or else you go home. For a big company, this is very difficult to do because there is no hunger or fear of failure. You are making money so no one wants to take chances to put the company at risk. Companies like Google or 3M does this well, providing chances for people to take chances. Push the envelop or norm. This is hard to pull off but if you can, then you can become the leader of a sector. 

4. Large company with large company culture: This is what majority of today’s mid-size to large company has. No one wants to take a large risk because it could jeopardize the company. Everyone does what they are told to do, just follow what the leader tells you to do. You have a goal that if you meet, that’s good enough. 

Well, so far it seems that Spansion is close to the model #4. There is a pockets of fiefdoms that I need to navigate as a Program Manager. The person who I am replacing is staying until end of next week to help me with the transition, so that will make my life a bit easier.

Although the people are nice, it will be a challenge to pull everyone together to get things done. We will see.

On May 7, 2008, posted in: Uncategorized by
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