The overarching goal of an employee should be to create lasting value for company that lives beyond their last day employment. This perspective and attitude of selflessness is forgotten among most startup folks, from founders to engineers. They work for themselves and it is understandable.
The pace of a typical startup working environment is beyond what most people can handle and the focus on speed above all else typically leaves a mess in its wake. Tomorrow is uncertain and not guaranteed; the goal is survival.
As a startup grows up, these once rational habits turn into bad habits. Product development processes at a very early stage company don’t past mustard as a startup scales beyond a handful people. To break these habits of working in a silo and for yourself, I developed saying for my growth team at StumbleUpon: “Think about Steve.”
Who is Steve? He isn’t someone you know or might ever know, but he will know the product you work on very intimately. He may join your team or come along way after you are gone. This is Steve.