A startup that bluffs together stays together! 5 tips for extreme startups


Sam in Ep 2

Startups are typically lean and mean. We work in closely, intimately or remotely, over long hours. It’s crucial that the team stays together to get through hurdles, pitches, and internal politics.

Inspired by the all-new web series Get Social, a mockumentary about a social media startup, we’ve put together some tips to avert internal disaster, followed by damage control and redemption!



#1 – DRAW THE LINE AT PELVIC THRUSTS. We’re quirky, free-spirited people in our special ways, and we express ourselves creatively. But there should be where you draw the line at acceptable behaviour. Asserting one’s ego with pelvic thrusts sort of sets the tone about what your work culture is like.

So. Am I the man? Or am I the man?
So. Am I the man? Or am I the man?

REDEMPTION: There isn’t really a redeeming point (or any points at all) in being obnoxious, since Leonard can’t help who he is. But he does grow up. Episodes 1-5 are real gems. Turns out our young CEO is forced to pay for his hormone-driven indiscretions as ROFL’s first client, Madam Tan, had an intimate past with Leonard.

#2 – THE STARTUP THAT BLUFFS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER. There’s a lot of bluff in agencies, especially to clients, but the key is to support each other’s bluff, until of course, you Google for help.

So. What's a 'viral'?
So. What’s a ‘viral’?

Yep. The same Leonard, with all his macho swagger, had to look up ‘viral’ in a dictionary.

REDEMPTION: Shortly after, Leonard discovered a dictionary, but they still got pwned by their very first client on how to make something viral. In Episode 2: They finally decide to hire someone who actually knows how social media worked.

#3 – RESPECT INDIVIDUALITY & SELF EXPRESSION. SERIOUSLY. So your head of IT wears Spiderman underwear. Respect that. And certainly don’t make fun of him in front of your clients.

Sam, ROFL's Head of IT, got taunted at a client meeting.
Sam, ROFL’s Head of IT, got taunted at a client meeting.

REDEMPTION: After being pushed around and ridiculed, Leonard tries to win Sam back after he got poached by a competitor in Episodes 11-15.

#4 – BRAGGING ABOUT YOUR UNIVERSITY DEGREE DOES NOT PAY THE BILLS. A spiel on what marketing should or should not be is not a constructive conversation, especially if it’s from school. Leave your digital media marketing bible (New Testament) at the door.

Quoting 'Principles of Marketing' doesn't mean you actually know marketing.
Quoting ‘Principles of Marketing’ doesn’t mean you actually know marketing.

REDEMPTION: There’s no redeeming a humble brag in passing a marketing subject back in university. Time wasted is time gone! Rachel’s comeback deserves points though!

#5 – NOT BRIEFING THE TEAM ON YOUR CLIENT’S BACKGROUND, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S FAMILY. Sure, it’s important to compartmentalise personal and professional life, but when family life bleeds into the workplace, as it inadvertently does in Get Social, make sure everyone is briefed to prevent awkward scenarios like:


REDEMPTION: In Episodes 6-10, Leonard takes on a client who happens to be Soo Ling’s mum, who’s also a beauty and cosmetics mogul. It was a distressing time for Soo Ling and ROFL! Humility was key to patching up!

For a backgrounder on who’s who in Get Social, see Startups are serious business, but this is just full of LOLs or watch the series here:

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