What I’ve Learned in My First Few Weeks in the “Real World” at CloudApp

Andrew Thomas

I’ve been at CloudApp for a couple of weeks now and I’ve already learned a ton. It’s not only been a big couple of weeks for me, CloudApp just closed on a $4.3 million seed round! Just watching the company prepare for the big announcement was a crash course in PR for me. In a startup, things move fast and the learning curve is very steep. Every day is different and challenging. I’d like to share a couple of takeaways from my time in the “real world” so far.

There’s No Single Right Answer

I actually learned this a couple of years ago but starting at CloudApp has only reinforced the lesson I worked for a custom home builder for two summers in college and I’ll never forget the response my boss had when I asked him how to perform a unique and difficult task, “I don’t know but I know someone who does. You, in a few hours.”

There is no one right way to do things. There are better and worse ways, but no single right way. In a startup, there’s not a lot of “standard protocol” in how to get things done, things just need to get done. School tends to make people think that there is only one right answer. In the real world, however, there rarely s a single right answer.

You can’t spend your whole day searching for the right answer or waiting for someone to teach you how to do something in the absolute best way possible, you need to figure out what works.

In terms of helping others understand a way to do things, CloudApp is a great tool. The ability to record your screen and webcam at the same time to walk someone through a process is leaps and bounds ahead of email or other written forms of communication.

Test Your Assumptions

A lot of times, it is easy to assume that you know what is going on. It’s tempting, for example, to logically think through a customer journey and then believe that your thought process is indeed what is really happening. However, in the “real world” things are never as easy and your first assumptions can tend to lead you astray.

Assumptions are a starting point, but you have to test them against data. Only through testing assumptions against data will you be able to paint a picture of the objective reality of what is going on.

Employers ranked data analysis as the fifth most important skill for graduates to have in 2018. Data analysis is so crucial because an organization basing its decisions on untested assumptions is bound to miss important insights and go in the wrong direction.

Be Proactive

In a fast-moving environment, there isn’t a lot of time for hand-holding. Thus, it’s critical to be able to identify needs and then work to fill them without waiting for someone to ask you to do it.

Being proactive takes confidence and a willingness to put yourself out there. It also takes the right organizational culture. At CloudApp, everyone’s ideas are valued and even as an intern I feel like I have the capacity and expectation to contribute and do important things which has helped me gain the confidence to be proactive and take ownership of the things I’m working on.

Of course, when you’re being proactive you are going to need to communicate what you are doing and why you are doing it with those around you and CloudApp is a great tool to make that communication clearer and more efficient. I routinely use CloudApp to share thing’s that I’ve learned while analyzing data with the rest of the team. It’s better for both parties when I can just record a quick video summarizing what I’ve been working on and what I’ve found that someone else can watch when they have a minute rather than interrupting them or sending them a confusing email.

Try for Yourself

If you haven’t tried CloudApp yet, you’re missing out. Sign up for a free CloudApp account and the next time you discover an awesome insight or have an amazing idea, use it to communicate it clearly and easily with your coworkers. I guarantee you’ll be using it daily from then on out.

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