Lessons Learnt with castLabs Co-Founder Martin Tews


This blog post is part of our #castLabsAt10 anniversary season.

Founding a startup is risky business, no matter the sector you’re operating in there’ll be tough decisions to take and seemingly insurmountable challenges. The good news is that plenty of people have been there before you.

Throughout the ten years that Michael Stattmann (castLabs Managing Director and Co-Founder) and I have nurtured castLabs, we’ve made mistakes, stumbled into opportunities, and put a lot of faith in our gut instincts. I hope some of the lessons we’ve learnt, outlined below, help you reach your ten year anniversary and several decades more.



When you’ve grown out from a small number of people, the company structure needs to evolve with that growth. We introduced the governing structure Holacracy to prevent silos from forming in the company, promote self-organization, and improve communication between teams and individuals in those teams. Choose a structure that fits the company culture and fulfills the basic requirements at the same time.


Self Development

An environment that promotes self-development opportunities, where people can experiment with ideas and improve their knowledge on-the-job, is beneficial to employee confidence, motivation, and nurtures creativity.


Support Structures

Consider how much time you will need to spend on building support structures around the core business, and administration and non-technical work. It took up much more resource than we expected.


Ideas Vs Resource

Ideas are plentiful. You’ll never have enough resource to work on all of them. We’ve been guilty of having too many priorities at times, rather than concentrating on doing a few things well.


The Right System

There’s never one time management system, one productivity software, or one management philosophy. What are your end goals, and do they correlate to the experiences others have had with the new system, software or philosophy? Has it produced those results for others? Then give it a good amount of time to trial and review.

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Martin Tews

Martin Tews

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