Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sheritech - What went wrong

For long time now I have been thinking to write about my experience at Sheritech.I had, and still have a lot of complaints but when I finally sat to write all I could remember was that I enjoyed my stay there. Question is why? Did I enjoy not getting paid or working long hours or working unpaid overtime. I think it was because I was in the company of my friends.

But this post is about "what went wrong" so I will try to stick to the topic :)

Generally people working in startups have stakes in them. This is what compensates for things like overtime and late or small salaries, and makes people, who are part of that startup, feel like they are doing it for nobody but themselves. And this was my and others (you know who) expectation from Sheritech but when things got documented we came to know that this was not the case. So obviously I started to look at things differently and i believe same is true for other people working there.

Startups require lot of hard work and little SLEEP. It is not possible for a startup to be successful when its CEO is almost never available (I believe you know the reasons for his unavailability :D). This thing wasted the best resource that we had and destroyed the office environment.

Startups require focus and determination. It is important to have a game plan before starting a new company. If one partner is thinking one thing and other is thinking another, it is never going to succeed.

Lastly and most importantly in any business owners/partners should be fair with each other and employees. You cant deceive people for long and it always ends badly when you try to.

The most important thing that I learnt from Sheritech and which I want to share is "Never ever work for your friend" because if you do you lose both.


Mohammad Ali said...

Sheritech was a dream, At times it was closer to realization, but eventually it never did.

Few thoughts regarding your post:

I never joined in as an hopeful for the company stakes, accepted that as a job on a per month salary basis. But if a any of us were in that frame of mind, They should have talked to the owners/partners. After all we all worked together as a team for a few months after documentation.

Non-availability of a our CEO cum the best technical resource......true very true. But very frankly weren't we all, including me, lavish in our hours per day, daily timings etc? We all took breaks for exams, we all took time off during university vacations as well?

One of the reason I guess not mentioned is that our management, wasnt hard on us that we didnt worked on regular basis. we were absent in the start of the week and working overtime in weekends, wasnt it?

Lastly, there might have been a 100 issues that we might count now, but, the entire card-house scrambled when the cash flow reduced and eventually stopped. how's and why's aside, if we would have been getting salaries for another 6 months, would we have asked these questions or raised these doubts, that too publicly?

As far as working with friends is concerned, I have worked with friends at Sheritech, then at Mobileweavers, then at Founders Fund.......I am not working there anymore, I have lost the jobs, sufferred financial losses, but havent lost friends, none of them. Guess it varies from person to person.......

Adnan said...

If you were never hopeful for the company stakes then i guess you dont know how startups work. you tell me why would you work for a startup, for salary lesser than wat you could get outside and without any benefits and proper office, where you have to purchase furniture, Air Conditioner, Stove, Heaters, crockery and etc for office, talk to property dealers or owners for renting building for office and even loan money to office? You say that "Sheritech was a dream", was it your dream? i guess not coz you didnt hav any stakes in it, you were just doing your job

Yes we never cared of office hours but we were there REGULARLY. I cant say about you but I tried to be regular. If I wasnt able to make it in the morning, i went there in noon or evening or even at night. you can still check those timesheets that we signed and you will see that atleast me and moeen were (almost) regular, always waking you and najam up, calling you both and asking you to come to office. Can you tell me why we did that if we were just doing a per month salary based job. And i never took time off during university vacations. I only took few days off after two months to go home or on public holidays.

And even if i was getting salary for few more months I would have raised these questions and in fact I did, more than once. Not to Muqeem but I talked to Moeen as most of the time Muqeem wasn't available and also because Moeen was in a position to convey these as concerns of all of us.

Unknown said...

I do regard both of you and your comments but we shouldn't discuss that in public or over the net.
I hope you got my point.

Mohammad Ali said...

first of comment wasnt targeted against or towards anyone.

What went wrong with Sheritect as i said might be a 100 page story with differrent perspective from everyone.

Just said, that faults were everywhere, so were a few very good things learnt and done being at sheritech.

I think we all agree we were at the cutting edge of the cutting edge technology. Have learnt a lot from every one there especially you, moeen & najam.

Not trying to initiate a blame game, just saying that the other's side of the mirror against us, might not be as sober as well.

Hey, Adnan, you are as Hawky as ever, you know thats what we thought was best thing about you :).