David Beisel writes:
In the early days of a startup, its always all hands on deck. There are a set of founders or founder(s) with an early team, and the roles of who does what and when is often decided by whoever has free bandwidth to address it. These individuals apply their skillsets to whatever needs to be taken care of today with little (if any) thought to process. Results are paramount. Accordingly, peoples roles become fluid and partially interchangeable. They get things done in small ad hoc groups or tribes that form and dissolve in lock step with the necessary tasks at hand. And thats a good thing in those very early days, its imperative that the organization is nimble and flexible to react to the marketplace as it commences in building both a product and a corresponding business model.
At some point, however, a startup team needs to evolve from building a small-team endeavor into building a company with a strong organizational structure. A number of events could serve as a catalyst for this transition: a round of institutional investment, the introduction of a new senior person on the team, or significant growth in the number of people within the company. But maturing from a tribal mode into a healthy functioning organization is often a very challenging process.