The Important Role of ‘All-Rounders’ in a Startup

The Important Role of ‘All-Rounders’ in a Startup

If there is anything that startups are known for in the tech sector, it’s innovation at a speed that traditional companies would struggle to match. There are many reasons why this is the case, but one is having a low staff count in the early stages of your startups. It can allow one person to have ownership of many aspects of the business or product. No long chain of communication has to be manoeuvred through for small changes to be carried out. Countless meetings and revisions which slow down progress, do not exist on the same level as a well-established organisation.

This breakneck speed allows growing businesses to get competitive advantages, adapting quickly to the changing needs of their customers, or industry trends. This responsibility for large interoperating sections of a product leads to teams of all-rounders, who can try their hand at almost anything. They can dive into server-side coding, and later that day, work on the colours and design of a product showcase page. These all-rounders sometimes referred to as full stack developers – due to their work being on all aspects of a products technology stack – aren’t usually the best person for the job that they are doing. A designer or UX specialist would be more suited to customer-facing work, like making the product look better or more user-friendly for example. A seasoned DevOps engineer would be the perfect candidate to update the build scripts or set up the automatic scaling on AWS as another.

Take any job, and you will always find someone who knows more, or who has more experience in a particular field. The problem is, you then need to source them, pay them and organise them into well-balanced teams. You then must assign their roles, hold meetings to decide on how something should be done and often in the startup stage, that’s not a luxury many startups can afford. In addition to this, by the time this dream team agree with each other on a game plan, iron out the nitty-gritty details and weave around their ideologies or design sensitivities, the all-rounder might have finished that feature and moved on to something else. It may not have been just as pretty or as well-polished as the work of a committee of specialists would have come up with, but it works and works well on a startup’s budget and time constraints.
The other side of an all-rounder is their attitude. They tend to have that jack of all trades approach when it comes to their work. They have an open mind, are a problem solver and give things a try rather than holding back just because it’s not their area of expertise. They are often eager to and enjoy learning. When it comes to starting a company, as much as the ideal team out there exists full of specialists and the funds to pay them all, the all-rounder might very well be able to bring to the company the level of acceleration it needs when it needs it, so taking them on should not be overlooked.