Learn With Alice

Published 16 May 2014 by Alice Flook, CANDDi
Read this in about about 3 minutes

An insight into working for a startup company. But after being inspired by reading my CEO’s journey, I thought it would be a good place to start by sharing my first few weeks of working for a tech startup.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will be sharing with you things that I have learnt at CANDDi from using the CANDDi software to effective marketing practices.

After reading ‘The Triumphs And Pitfalls Of Starting A Tech Business’, I thought it would be interesting to share my experience working for a startup.

What Is A Startup?

“A startup company or startup is a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets.”

One Big Rollercoaster Ride…


CANDDi’s CEO Tim Langley describes working for a startup is less the journey of ‘Zuckerberg’ and more like a rollercoaster.

You start with that build up, joining something new, unsure of where the ride is going to take you with the anticipation building. I entered CANDDi HQ knowing lots about how to use analytic platforms as a customer from a marketing perspective but very little about the software behind the analytics. Like many of our customers, my previous roles involved analysing endless streams of data driven in from websites and creating strategies around this. I couldn’t believe how easy CANDDi makes it for businesses to understand their visitors and customer base better, so much time and energy saved with simple procedures that broke the data down.

This build up of excitement is only encouraged by the dedication of the team in place. It is difficult to not get behind the cause when every member of the team is brand loyal and determined. Faceless departments are removed and individuals count. The old cliche that startups are like a family could not be more true.

Like any functional family, there are the disagreements too. Mix a room of passionate individuals who are as stubborn as dad is over the tv remote and there is bound to be the odd headlock but at the end of the day, we can go to the pub and reflect on a productive week.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” Simon Sinek

The Tallest Poppy


Tim explained CANDDi’s ethos to me during our interview, he likened the mentality to the ‘Tallest Poppy’ syndrome. At CANDDi, like so many other startups, it is all about being the tallest poppy. What that means is there is no blending into the wallpaper, keeping the head down to avoid being noticed. That neck is above the parapet for good or for bad. That does mean there will be times where all you want to do is put your head down and avoid the trouble but more often that not, this is recognised as driving the business forward and your view doesn’t just count but could have massive implications on the direction of growth.

Call Me Mr Benn - Wearing Many Hats

Never have job titles meant less than in a startup. Marketing, PR, Sales, Development, Support end up blending into one. If you like the comfort of a title and a set routine then DON’T work for a startup. The joy of working for a new company is you get to experience different aspects of the business and grow your skill set extremely quickly. That being said, it can be frustrating when you are piling the hats on top of each other and nothing seems to be signed off. However, that is where the CANDDi family come in and support. No corporate boundaries, just a mentality of ‘get the job done’.


The hours are long, the tough times are really tough and the high times seem far and few between. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Alice Flook
Who, what, when, now.

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