AMA - How to build a successful startup team

Tomek Grzechowski
Mar 12, 2018

I have a business case!

- so what

I have a business plan!

- so what

The team is what really matters, because If you have a great team you can really do anything.

There are many different management and leadership styles, there are NLP ideas, psychological methodologies, sciences, philosophies and even religions trying each one of them separately to define what it is to be a leader, manager, how to lead and how to manage succesfully. 

As a startuper you need to understand that building the team that is happy, the team that will follow the leader regardless of any danger, the team that loves their workplace, communicates openly, resolves issues easily and that finally will be able to grow and evolve without your control the way that you would be proud of is the most important thing.

Building anything that last is a matter of finding what is important and bringing the harmony that enables people to achieve their goals in most efficient way. The most efficient way is the least stresfull way. Stress is the outcome of ignoring the systems thinking approach and lack of understanding that it can be achieved in harmonious way.

Different people know me as a different thing, for some I am a startuper, for some philosophies hacker., a programmer, a software architect, a joker or a serious guy. I was successful, I also had defeats.

Knowing others is intelligence;

knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Mastering others is strength; 

mastering yourself is true power.

* Laozi

Check me out and ask me anything if you want to build a great team: www.becomewater.com/tomek/

The Harmonizer

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Conversation (95)

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What do you think your future self will remember about you now?
Mar 19, 1:27PM EDT0
Has social media been a net positive or a net negative for our society? Why?
Mar 18, 10:32PM EDT0
What, do you believe, would be the most ethical way to give away five million dollars?
Mar 18, 1:17AM EDT0
If all your memories were erased, what kind of person would you be?
Mar 16, 3:40AM EDT0

I will tell you a story first.

There was one time, when an adolescent boy was looking at the world full of lies, greed and hatred, looking at the world with his big green eyes burning with mindfulness. He was loved deeply by many but never have been understood. Being alone with his mind working like the perfect clockwork, he was feeling the pain of existance without any limitations. He was looking at this world speeding forward, the world without any deep reason, the world totally lacking compassion to wait for those who were not strong enough to run fast enough and got lost or those who were too old - all those individuals, those minorities, those poor, those countries, those human beings, those animals, those trees, being lost in the run for nothing that could never last longer then a single moment.

The boy was asking right questions and was listening to the sound of silence when words are thrown on the wind jumping at the walls of unreason. It is important to say that the boy was 22 years old in our earth years but he was still adolescent in his trusting heart. He was just 11 in the years of the heart. He was already a student and a teacher but he was not yet the architect (22).

And the questions asked were always the same:

  1. how it has All began
  2. what was the reason for it All to happen

The boy was always looking for true nature in everything and true nature in everything is that anthing that becomes has or had a purpose and will find its meaning at a proper time.

Sitting and looking, not being noticed by those who were running forward, the boy placed a wise thought deeply inside of his mind. How to find truth if everything that is written, everything that is being said is subjective.

And the mind which was clean like ocean waters at that time answered:

The only way to do it is to remove everything from equation and see it as it is, with your heart.

So the boy started looking, it made him ultimately vulnerable, the pain became limitless even more, but slowly boy was getting answers. The more illusions were destroyed, the more clarity and wisdom was found.

Until finally the boy died or somebody died or who was that died oh right it was ego that has been destroyed all illusion dropped. And the one that was looking was thrown out of the boy's body. The empty body was in fear of its own existance and thrown out the driver. The one who was looking was experiencing something that only a limited number of people (?) in history of human kind ever experienced. The one who was looking and experiencing that, looking at the boy's body was experiencing ultimate final fear of death and was in between two decisons

  • to follow that experience and to maybe loose everything that was connected with the boy's body
  • or to not follow this experience and loose it

It was a textbook example of what psychologists are calling a prisoner syndrome.

But it is important to point out that this boy or the one who was watching was always considered to be fearless. And again this time he followed his legend.

Being thrown out - he did not fly around, he was 11 not 5 or 6, he was intelligent and brave, he tried it out flying as far as our satelites are now flying and then being even more braved asked the right questions:

  1. how it has All began
  2. what was the reason for it All to happen

Once he asked these 2 fundamental questions - a time was rolled back from the current moment through forming of the cosmos to the moment before big bang when everything was just but the light.

And the light was asking one question which was the reason for it All to happen.


Becuase the light was alive.



Now. You see. The devil lies not in becoming nothing. Thus throwing out everything. The devil lies in being able to keep going knowing it all and forgeting it all because it will all be put in front of you when time is right.


Today the boy is no more a boy. He is made now of Iron. He is 22 in his heart and he is looking for love of his life.

It is always love story because The Architect was kinda She.


I wish you well. Hope that answers your question.

But to conclude:

I do not need to remove anything. I respect it all as truth of experience, the way to aquire gnosis.

Last edited @ Mar 16, 6:06PM EDT.
Mar 16, 6:01PM EDT0


Mar 13, 9:33AM EDT0

I like your question too much. Let me sleep on an answer a little. <3

Mar 14, 12:15PM EDT0

True success is measured by completion of the work and the ability to share that with others. 

Mar 14, 10:33PM EDT0
Is there any way to establish a startup without a team? Can one work on something like this on his own?
Mar 13, 9:23AM EDT0


Mar 14, 10:51AM EDT0
When your business partnership became successful, how did you decide who would take over the company?
Mar 13, 5:00AM EDT0

It should be taken by someone who is more dedicated to lead it, who feels like owner of the idea.

People should have what they really want.

Last edited @ Mar 14, 12:15PM EDT.
Mar 14, 10:51AM EDT0

What are some tips you can share with people who need a team but are naturally just not good team players?

Mar 13, 1:24AM EDT0

Gain the understanding through learning. Everything can be learned if you want to. How to play safe too.

Mar 14, 10:52AM EDT0
In relation to Becomewater - what’s the difference between a business and being just a brand and not necessarily a business?
Mar 12, 9:21PM EDT0
Last edited @ Mar 14, 11:06AM EDT.
Mar 14, 10:50AM EDT0
Is it best to turn to crowdfunding or angel investors, or would it be better to loan out the amount needed for a startup?
Mar 12, 7:54PM EDT0
Last edited @ Mar 14, 12:17PM EDT.
Mar 14, 12:16PM EDT0
How would you mitigate a dispute between two team members who disagree over their responsibilities?
Mar 12, 12:38PM EDT1

Ask them first what they want to do. Secondly where is the conflict. Then by further questions and discussion identify blockers and destroy these blockers. And finally you need to find way to create peace between them by taking the blame out of the equation. Direct the fire towards yourself.

Mar 12, 2:35PM EDT0
As an organization gets larger, there can be a tendency for the “institution” to dampen the “inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?
Mar 12, 11:52AM EDT1

This can only be achieved with systems thinking approach and new methods of management like chaotic management. It can be achieved, not perfectly thou, with current tools, but the important thing is that you need to keep visionaries and they must not be overpowered by bureaucrats in your organization. Bureaucrats are all about the power. If you change your strategy and remove managers from equation to enable leaders & experts of projects or responsibility areas, there is less risk for bureaucracy. Managers, directors, people who manage others only, they excel in control of others and are point of control of information and misinformation. Leadership and expert responsibilities should be connected, management should be minimized and moved out from human responsibility to technology that controls the process, because management is just about processing of information, not real human input value, thus should be open and logical process not impacted by emotions and human control.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 2:34PM EDT.
Mar 12, 2:33PM EDT0
What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
Mar 12, 9:48AM EDT1

There is only one such decision and it is to let other people lead and help them in that.

Mar 12, 2:31PM EDT0
What techniques have you used to motivate a team?
Mar 12, 9:10AM EDT1

There is nothing that motivates people like the freedom to do what they love and some crazy idea that enables them to do so. I do not use no techniques, I am myself, whatever that means.

Mar 12, 2:31PM EDT0
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person affect your life?
Mar 12, 7:56AM EDT1

There was not one such a person but so many great people. All my life I was searching for the ultimate Master and even thou I have met many Great Masters there was no one who I could call the ultimate. I have met some of my masters personally, or through their work, or their books, or through their idea. But today I consider every person that I meet to be a teacher and a student. Currently I am working closely and personally with many serious Masters of different fields: modern economy, machine learning, organization process, business, philosophy, communication, humanitarian, security, accounting, law, software engineering and programming, marketing, sales and also design. Working with these people makes me thankful and humble for all the experience that I had until now. There is although four people who have defined me as I am today, the one being pair is my Mother (water) and Father (earth) who taught me love and caring and the other pair is my Master Architect (wind) thanks to her understanding of life and people she taught me to be ultimately just and forgiving and also last but not least I have met a serious Master Hacker (fire) thanks to his understanding and experience I have learned that all war is a source of destruction. I hope that They All know that I am greatly thankful for all the past and future experience together.

Mar 12, 2:29PM EDT0
What are your preferred methods of communication and why?
Mar 12, 5:12AM EDT1

It depends on the moment.

  1. The most important method is a normal human contact through which you can super fast integrate yourself with others. It is time consuming at first. The more you have to offer and share the more time it will take to integrate, the energy grows with each step but once you become integrated, the communication speed will be faster than sound, in most cases, depending on your skills, non-verbal.
  2. Process organized group communication tools, like project management tools, or Kanban, something that enables you to integrate your communication with your company process
  3. Phone - to fix things that are lost in translation or speed things up, to make things going and back on the right track, finally to start up things
  4. SMS or chats (like Slack) - to keep one and all up to date
  5. Email - seriously - that is an ancient history happening now
Mar 12, 2:28PM EDT0
What are your favorite and least favorite technology products, and why?
Mar 11, 12:46PM EDT1

I do not have least favorite technologies on my list. Every technology may be used to the advantage if you have proper resources. Of course, there is evolution of technology and innovation, on the table, where you are making your decisions, and if possible, you may want to use something that is most innovative and most perfect at the moment.

That said, I do seriously thank Steve Jobs for blocking Macromedia Flash on iPhone thou and thus setting up the starting point for HTML5 based technologies and we see good results of his decision already. He did it perfect for the future of web and mobile. May he rest at peace. In the same time he is one of my marketing super masters. <3 I have learned from the guy a lot.

Mar 12, 2:27PM EDT0
What technology-related blogs, websites or podcast do you follow? Do you share any information with your team as well?
Mar 11, 10:06AM EDT1

I mainly talk to people. Yes, I do share my thoughts with people who I work with and they do the same in reciprocation.

Last week I have just cleaned up my email box and I have left out these mailing lists:

  1.  hackerone.com - security related
  2.  equidam.com - startup business related

I also have many top technology contacts on my social accounts and I look through their status updates. That seems more interesting and useful that all that news chaos.

Mar 12, 2:26PM EDT0
If you’ve got a new project involving a new technology. How would you get started? What's your process of working?
Mar 11, 10:01AM EDT1

I would talk with everybody involved, slowly trying to understand every aspect of it and in the same time harmonizing it with all the other stuff that I do. No time for nothing new until 2020 thou <3. Process is not really needed if you have mastered the skill of adaptation. Process is needed for group work and organization.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 2:26PM EDT.
Mar 12, 2:25PM EDT0

What excites you the most about "BecomeWater" and the future of the company?

Mar 11, 6:37AM EDT1

Becomewater’ is not a company, it was, and it is a brand. It started as abrand for a software house, but as my business partnership was unsuccessful, and as I actually wanted to have that software company only as a trampoline to start up other businesses, I was glad to move on. Building software and digital technologies, is a top business today, but it is also very exhausting. Everyone wants to be first. I like to build stuff that lasts and that requires patience and deep understanding. Being first is easy if you just say it. But then...Who said  that first ??!! ‘Becomewater’ is a mystery even to me now. I do not know what the future holds for it. I know that it had 2 people in the beginning, and it was planned as a kickstarter platform for software startups , for other businesses, and at present it is supporting 5-10 depending on how you want to count . These 5-10 businesses include people, organizations and companies at different stages of development, so it actually can be 20-100 entities, or more, if one or more of the partners decide to speed up things and use their contacts and their groups / networks of contacts. This is the power of free group thinking. But it requires a philosophy and we are working  out its fine details. Last week I have talked about it with a friend - hopefully he might control this process and make it happen faster. He is the right person to do it with. It is a mystery even to me but I love the outcomes we achieved until now. It is making my life better. ‘Becomewater’ means that you can adapt to any situation and that you can use any situation to your advantage. Water does not have the form so it can adapt, accept, and as such, is the foundation of any type of strategy.

Mar 12, 2:23PM EDT0
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