The story of one IT company that never came to success

Often there are articles on the topic “what is needed to create a successful IT business”, “fundamental factors for the success of an IT company” and all in the same vein. Some are convinced that investments are needed to start, others focus on the team. There are one hundred and five hundred tips and the same number of "success stories." For this reason, I had the idea to tell the story of one company (real names and names will be changed so as not to poke my fingers). The story is more like failure, despite the presence of most of the factors that were supposed to lead to success, but not everything has benefited.


In most cases, it all starts with the school or student bench — this story is no exception. Several like-minded students in the future turned out to be one of the brightest minds of not only the city of N, but the country as a whole, decided to improve their financial situation. The team consisted of 4 people, all coders, but someone needed to fulfill a managerial role and deal with issues outside of development, and this is how 3 maidens and 1 manager turned out. All had an appropriate education, common interests and a common goal. Scraping through the guts, it did not take much to start, purely server resources and small expenses, but they were ordinary students, so I had to work hard. Everything worked out perfectly here.

What is available:
  • 4 people in a team
  • idea
  • enthusiasm
  • the goal is to make money


Joint labor ignites in people such a fury of accomplishment, which they rarely can achieve alone. © R. Emerson The

newly-minted manager took charge of the money, everyone else quickly did business on crutches, sawed everything at home, on the knee, as it was supposed to be a machine for cutting down money trees. There are no talk of any hired employees here yet. All on free breads.

So the question is where the “raisins” come from. The origins of this story go back to 2008, and as many people know 2004-2008 are considered the era of doorways, it was during this period that new IT multimillionaires, a lot of millionaires, and a myriad of "thousand-strong thousand-dollar" were born. All money trees were cut down precisely then, now the doors are of no value to all participants, it remains only to rejoice at their success, give advice, conduct master classes, or! to invest the accumulated in something more profitable (more on that later). In general, raisins were picked enough.

At this stage, the team is working closely, a clear leader appears - the only manager who has acted as an organizer and financier from the first days. It was he who invested his personal pockets, accumulated and occupied under his name, albeit crumbs, but money, I will call him “CEO” later on.

What is available:
  • 4 people in a team
  • workflow / idea
  • the goal is to earn more money
  • stackable technical architecture

It is necessary:
  • office space
  • staff expansion
  • search for a new earning channel

Investments 2

The first rule of business is to make money, no matter how other rules interfere. ©

Next comes the antivirus era 2008-2011, which has also nurtured its generation of successful ones.

The above statement perfectly describes what happened next. The guys managed to get on both “trains”, but they were in no hurry to celebrate, the question of sharing was not raised and the whole team was motivated perfectly to work in one treasury, hence the investment exclusively in business.

It took an expansion of the team: HR, a financier with banking experience, sales, designers, + more coders - in the future architects, opening of their remote support center (about 24 people).

It was at this time that the billing project was born, which was created purely for your needs, accounts are opened in banks known to the world.

In the same period, employees (already hired) joined in and formed the managerial backbone. Most of them did not have a narrow-profile education, but they turned out to be extremely smart and masterfully mastered everything that only came to hand.

What is available (for 2010):
  • working business
  • rather big capital
  • working fin. instruments
  • rented office
  • strong motivation
  • about 14 employees hired
  • 24 people of remote supporters (call center operators are also included)
  • project billing

It is necessary:
  • office space
  • staff expansion
  • whitening business (+ a new channel for earning)

Thoughts about the future

Let your team consist of professionals of various qualities. Mix specialists with generalists, encourage friendly competition, and you will see how many new ideas come up. © Andrew Sobel

Comfortable office, corporate parties, gifts from the company on the DR and any other occasion. Collective trips to various events, conferences. Tim building was at its best, there was a feeling of family comfort, many employees were not just colleagues, but good friends. (it is worth noting that some of the employees came from other cities, which rallied them even more). Hiking in the cafe after work, sharing experiences and thinking about introducing new technologies. A dream, not a job.

And in this barrel of honey there was a fly in the ointment. Urgent questions:

- how to spontaneously form a full-fledged company from actions?
- How to whiten a business, make it crystal clear and increase profits already publicly and openly?

These issues did not leave our CEO and all the hired employees. Naturally, all employees were eager to share their successes with their friends and relatives, but ... in general, it was impossible, this fact did not negatively affect the team’s mood, but light discomfort still began to appear.

Against this background, ideas began to emerge on further actions and development strategies.
CEO actively cultivated team spirit, encouraged initiative. He made it clear that all the ideas expressed by any employee have the right to life, and if you are lucky, then to invest on his part.

That is why many employees "slept and saw themselves" at the head of a successful company or part of it. Managers were full of energy, self-motivated and tried in every possible way to develop in their directions.

Needless to say, the standard of living has improved for almost all employees, hired and not so.
Some have less, some have more - but that’s not the point. There was still a welcoming atmosphere, an incredibly gifted energetic team, millions of ideas and, of course, branching independent projects.

Already at this stage, some hired employees preferred to receive less profit with the expectation of the prospect of their separate direction (project). This practice was introduced by our CEO, according to the principle “if you want here and now, it will be your usual RFP, if we don’t get out of business and invest a piece of your earnings, then you are already a co-investor and, naturally, you will get more or a share in business. "

No official earnings have been discussed so far, no one has thought about signing a contract either. Payment was made on time, without any bureaucratic tyagomotin and in a currency that was pleasant to the eye.

In the same year, it was decided to “pull up” key remoters to the city N office from other cities, as part of the team still worked at home. The conditions that they were offered were above the market, which positively influenced their decision. ЗП + payment of housing + assistance in moving, etc., etc.

In parallel, the team was looking for a larger office, as if symbolizing the beginning of a new white and clean life.

What is available (for 2011):
  • big enough capital
  • working business
  • working fin. instruments
  • strong motivation
  • close-knit team
  • nascent subsidiary projects
  • lack of bureaucracy
  • spontaneous development

It is necessary:
  • whitening business (+ a new channel for earning)
  • formalization of tasks + search for corporate tools
  • of. staff clearance
  • social security packages

PS In general, since the story is quite long and I would like to describe all the actions that led to its current state of affairs, I had to break it into 2 parts.

In the next part I will describe:
  • what was the company like
  • what projects were launched
  • how they entered the market
  • what techniques were used
  • what implemented
  • and how it all ended.

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