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The Big Picture – Why Tech Companies Should Support Their Communities

This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Felipe Millan is a highly ambitious and successful professional with proven success driving rapid growth for start-ups and mature companies. As an entrepreneur, he founded led several companies; as a start-up mentor and advisor, he translates my experience into valuable lessons for other early-stage innovators across the world through my work with some of the world’s top accelerators and incubators, including Techstars Accelerator, Katapult Accelerator, Startupbootcamp Accelerator, Startup Wise Guys Accelerator, and others. Not only have I helped numerous entrepreneurs translate their ideas into reality and grow their businesses, but I also leveraged these relationships in my role as a Global [email protected] SEMrush.

Felipe functions as the Community Development Manage at Twilio Sendgrid. The community is a very important factor to Sendgrid. Starting out as a startup, Sendgrid received a lot of support to get to where they are today.  

The Big Picture is a view of Sendgrid which contains things that need to be done around the community of the next 3-5 years. Felipe believes the if a company does not try to survive ethically, that company will die. This is why Sendgrid tries to give back to the community in the many ways they do. In detail, Tech companies are greatly positioned to give back to the community and these are some of the reasons why:

  1. Adequate resources
  2. Culture of change
  3. Focus on human experiences
  4. Ability to predict the future
  5. Return on investment

When it comes to resources, Tech companies have some of the most innovative and smart people as part of their workforce. In addition to this, capital is another useful resource that these tech startups have at their disposal. Their Networks as well span quite a wide reach across thee world. One last resource that these tech companies easily have is trust.

According to Felipe, Sendgrid believes that if you take care of your community, everyone around your employees become happier. This in turn has a positive effect on the productivity of your employees.

The new generation of millennials who are largely characterized as people who are very entitled to their opinions are the ones who are demanding tech companies to become more human in everything they do.

Asides resources, Felipe mentioned the culture of change. Tech companies are the ones who are not scared of failing at the things they try out. When they try things and it works, they try to make it better. When it fails, they try to pivot to something else quickly. The ideology behind this is that everybody needs to move very much faster. It is relatively easy and cheap to buy an MVP of an app online and it works, but to build and scale a tech company with a culture, that’s the hard part.

This is the reason why any investors today are more focused on the team more than they are focused on the technology. The reason for this because if the company fails, investors want to know what else the team can do. They largely focus on building human capital and not just in tech.

Talking about Human experiences, Felipe mentioned that Sendgrid has their own internal conference called ‘Signal’. At this event, they get the chance to connect with all the amazing people in their team, and encourage them to build more amazing stuff.

─ March 10, 2020