roles within a start up

30 Mar 2009 - 8:46am
5 years ago
4 replies
452 reads
Mark Schraad
2006

This is just one person's perspective... specific to the narrow niche of
tech start ups, but the perception held is still valid (we tend towards deep
instances over aggregates don't we?). As an interaction designer, user
experience designer, information architect or just a designer... where do
you see your place in this picture?
Mark

The Hat List

- Visionary/Architect. Idea generation, shape features, repositioning,
market fit, competitive landscape, research.
- Lead Developer(s). AKA Hackers. A good place to have a pair of jelled
programmers. Uses web framework, creates functionality; knows Python/Ruby,
Javascript, AJAX, Flash(?), HTML, databases.
- Sysadmin. Network, web server, NFS (for VCS/file sharing), caching,
other infrastructure, data backup, backup hardware, performance tuning,
scalability.
- Toolsmith. Team is provided with: productive development environments
(all users can say “apt-get install …“), frameworks, editors,
interpreters, multiple browsers, GIMP/Photoshop, (D)VCS, wiki, maybe BTS,
quick training/consulting on tools/environment, continuous integration.
- Webmaster. SEO, analytics, domain registration, site hosting,
Apache/lighttpd.
- DBA. Helps developers plan schema, set up tables, design for
scalability, tuning/optimizing.
- Graphic Artist. Color coordination, logos, icons, image libraries, etc.
- CSS Designer. Usability, accessibility, layout, look-n-feel.
- Content Creator. User-facing documentation, populate/organize wiki,
design tutorial, usage studies.
- Customer Support. Answers phones, forum voice, FAQs, knowledge base,
help entries, problem solving.
- Tester. Bangs on site, tries devious things, automates stress.
- Marketer. Evangelism, blogging, advertising.
- Manager. Coordinates all team member activities.
- Lawyer. Business setup, guidance, law interpretation.
- Chef. Handles all other (random) tasks to keep team functioning.

Full posting:
http://www.businessinsider.com/15-roles-every-startup-needs-filled-2009-3

Comments

30 Mar 2009 - 9:30am
jabbett
2008

>   - Chef. Handles all other (random) tasks to keep team functioning.

I actually do provide all our corporate catering (kosher, too).

30 Mar 2009 - 11:25am
isaacw
2009

I'm currently a UX Designer and the sole employee at a Seattle
startup. These are some of the hats, in priority, that I wear on a
daily basis: CSS Designer, Graphic Artist, Tester, and
Visionary/Architect.

-isaacw

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 Mar 2009 - 12:37pm
AlokJain
2006

Mark,

I think a startup provider great opportunity both what one can do from
overall "Customer Experience" perspective as well as Internal
organization process.

I think the common role titles don't apply as much in a startup as
mostly it is short of cash and resources.

In my case I do following:

1. Customer research, Market needs/opportunities, product roadmap incl
feature prioritization and roll out plan - product manager hat.
2. Since I do overall prioritization and roadmap I also act as a SCRUM
Master (typically product manager and scrum master should not be
mixed, but so far so good).
3. I have a tight focus along with the CEO on every touchpoint with
the customer not just the product itself - Customer Experience
designer
4. This also ties into marketing strategy , I am not a 100%
responsible for it, but deeply involved
5. Usability testing
6. Product Design - Interaction designer, graphic designer hat
7. Front end coding - HTML, CSS , and sometimes little bit of javascript
8. Tester - Functional Testing - as features are built

Different roles, but it all just flows in very well in my experience.

(Our product is not out yet, but would be out very soon)

Cheers
AJ

On Mar 30, 2009, at 9:46 AM, mark schraad wrote:

> This is just one person's perspective... specific to the narrow
> niche of
> tech start ups, but the perception held is still valid (we tend
> towards deep
> instances over aggregates don't we?). As an interaction designer, user
> experience designer, information architect or just a designer...
> where do
> you see your place in this picture?
> Mark

30 Mar 2009 - 2:06pm
Mark Hurd
2008

As another employee of a very small shop, I am Visionary/Architect,
Manager, and CSS Designer.

I prefer the term Front-End Developer over "CSS Designer" though.
Typically the Lead Developers you list, as amazing as they are at
creating awesome application code, are utterly horrible with
something as "boring" as proper HTML/CSS/JS.

My coworker is a perfect example - super talented hacker that can
throw up a PHP or Rails framework with his eyes closed, but still
uses tables and font tags for his interfaces. Plus, he's proud of
that fact. So I typically do the front-end work and integrate all of
my templates with his system.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40744

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