15th April, 2013 was my last day at Wordplay Content, and as I walked out of the office for the last time, a wave of memories swept past me. I wasn’t surprised, though, because working at a startup is infectious – it leaves you inspired for life.
Wordplay isn’t the biggest startup around, and I say this because I have read about and met people from some of the most popular startups in India. It doesn’t have fancy meeting halls or cafeterias either.
But it’s the best place for anyone to work in, because it has something that’s much more valuable than cafeterias, meeting halls, or manpower – Wordplay has a heart. And it comes from the people who work here. They know what they’re doing, and they do their jobs to the hilt. When you dedicate your hearts and minds towards building a company, smaller things like worrying about reimbursements or counting the number of tea breaks you can take don’t bother you.
There’s much to say, so I’ll make an attempt to sew together what I’ve learnt here, and what made my time at Wordplay Content one that I’ll always remember.
Culture? Yes, It Matters!
Every great company is great because of its culture.
The culture runs much deeper than mere ‘mission statements’ and ‘vision statements’. At Wordplay, freedom and responsibility are highly valued. I had all the freedom to figure out ways in which I could make my work more efficient. At the same time, I knew that my freedom would go for a toss if I didn’t understand my responsibilities well or take them seriously enough.
Although we’re all suits and ties when it comes down to business, there’s a strong undercurrent of fun that runs at Wordplay. There are fun cliques within the office, and any new recruit is immediately asked just two questions:
“Star Wars or LoTR?”
“Trance or Rock?”
We’re passionate about the things we love, and know how to have fun while doing great work at the same time. Plus, when you work with awesome people, heading to work is almost like heading to Disneyland!
I Learned, Unlearned, And Re-learned
When I joined Wordplay, I had absolutely no idea about startups and I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that this was a path that I wanted to take, because we all do the same things in many different ways.
Along the way, I realized how essential it is to constantly unlearn and re-learn, when the world around is changing with every second. I made a lot of mistakes and learnt a lot from them. The mistakes taught me how to adapt and change my approach to provide every client with great work.
Now, when I look back at the processes we had and the way they have evolved, the transformation just amazes me. Every efficient process that we have now is the end result of a lot of hardwork, mistakes, and learning.
Working in a startup makes you mature and ready for the real world – something that schools and colleges don’t teach.
Love What You Do
The key to being an amazing employee is quite simple – value the work that you do. This is easy when you’re doing what you love, because it’s work only if you’re forced to do it!
You spend most of your waking hours at your workplace, so it’s important that you’re good at what you do because your work will define you. When a client trusts you with a project, your work is to ensure that his trust isn’t abused and that he goes back a happier man.
We’ve done this from day one . We love our clients, and we respect the work that they do.
Stay Hungry, Stay Curious
I’m always amazed at the curiosity that everyone shares at Wordplay. As a team, we love learning new things, from the latest developments in SEO to writing styles.
A year and a half back, I felt right at home when I met the team for the first time because never before in my life had I met people with a hunger for learning and a vision that was bigger than them. When you have an undying passion to learn new things and go against the conventional, it doesn’t matter when people questions your choices – you just know you’re right.
I’m surely going to miss all this and a lot more. But hey, I leave with the satisfaction that I’ve picked up critical skills that I can use anywhere. It’s been a crazy journey, and I’m a bit jealous that I’ll be missing out on the awesome things that are coming up.
All said and done, I’d like to thank Neil, Ganesh, and Prateek for guiding me, mentoring me, and giving me an opportunity to work with this wonderful company.
Donna, Sameer, Abhilash, Nimisha, Nishant, Fatema, Madhav, Giri, Shafeeque and Akshata – thank you for being great friends and the awesome people that you are. I wish the writing team all the best. Thank you all for being such an important part of my life!
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