Lessons from Year ✌️ at a 🚀 Startup

Source | | Anshul Shah

730 days, 8 seasons, and hundreds of inches of snow later, it’s incredulous how far Ridgeline has come. As I reminisce on when I signed my offer, I remember my family and friends asked questions like, “You’re working for who? A startup with 30 people in Lake Tahoe? What’s it called… Ridgeline? Like a bunch of mountains bunched together? Why would you do that?” The people continue to energize me, the product continues to grow, and our customers continue to be excited about what we are building. In the last year we have doubled our employee base, double² our customer base, and double^(a lot) the enthusiasm around cloud adoption in the investment management industry. Thus, here are 6 lessons I‘ve learned throughout my second year in Tahoe.


Communication is an elementary part of any organization. Communicating what needs to be done and when it needs to be done is crucial, especially in a startup, where new initiatives, projects, and priorities arise every single day. In a world where channels of communication can get crowded (Email, Zoom, Slack), taking the extra step to establish clear expectations with your team around what information to expect and from which channel to expect it can drive a lot of efficiency and productivity for both yourself and everyone around you. If you are creating a meeting and think someone needs to be invited… guess what? They probably do. Don’t let information slip through the cracks!

By Failing to Prepare, You are Preparing to Fail

Preparation has been a common theme in my success over the last two years. Every meeting, every email, every interaction — it‘s served me well to be prepared. This preparedness has come in many different forms:

  • Getting my talking points in order before a meeting
  • Thinking of an interesting list of questions in my head before a chat
  • Clicking through my slides 2 extra times to make sure there are no mistakes

Preparation yields increased confidence, and increased confidence yields a higher likelihood of excelling at the task at hand. Fight the voice in your head telling you to “do it later” and prepare now!

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