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Created on 31.07.2019

From a knack for organization to determination: these are the things start-ups need to get going

What exactly do start-ups need to get going? We will be asking two start-ups that won a free workplace in the Zurich-Schlieren start-up space for six months as part of the “start-up space” workplace competition. We will also be giving you some helpful tips.

For start-ups to actually get going, they need a good idea and a lot of determination. What else?

A modern, organized team

Management models where the boss has exclusive control are becoming less and less popular, not least because of the rise of start-ups. But how exactly do start-up teams work? Jeffrey Ibañez explains: “In our team, everyone plays a critical role, and we all rely on each other. Every team member enjoys maximum responsibility. There are no bosses. We simply guide the other team members towards achieving the best results, and we support them wherever they need assistance. We also let them experiment with things that not everyone is always that taken with.” 


You can organize a team in various exciting ways. One takes the form of sociocracy, which is all about consistent self-organization and independence.

A smart approach to organization

How do start-ups manage to get all their work done, and how do they get through a daily routine they can hardly ever plan? This is how Derma2go is organized: “We are very structured about how we work so we can get everything done on time, which helps us avoid having far too much on our plates. Sometimes it can help to prioritize particularly interesting or motivating work.”


It can be a good idea to prioritize work using the Pareto principle. The Pareto principle boils an economic phenomenon down to its very essence. It states that 20% of input frequently accounts for 80% of output. Experience shows us this is also true of to-do lists. In other words, you try and find what 20% of your input will have the greatest impact, and look for smart solutions for the other 80% (e.g. you could delegate tasks or simply leave them).

An inspiring workplace

A lot of start-ups start their businesses at home, but there comes a point when they think about having their very own office. Start-up hubs are popular ways to get a start-up going. PostFinance is running a competition in which it is giving away free workplaces for six months in the Zurich-Schlieren start-up space. Derma2go explains how this helps: “Previously we spent much of our time working on the move, in the library, at home or on the train, so the fact PostFinance is giving us our own office in the Zurich-Schlieren start-up space for six months free of charge is a big help. This will provide us with added structure, and it will help with team building and customer contact.”

Plenty of determination

The majority of start-ups have one thing in common: the amount of time and work they put in at the beginning is enormous. So does this mean they neglect their private lives in favour of work? Jeffrey Ibañez has this to say about work-life balance: “A what? There’s no such thing if you want to be successful within the first 12 months. You can’t afford to have long breaks during this period. That said, I do find that things like jogging or sports that require concentration do help me switch off every once in a while.” 


The following may be clichéd, but it remains essential to running a start-up: to keep mentally fit, you also need to keep physically fit. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will do wonders for a good work-life balance. 

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