GONLA.com (2011 – 2013)

At first, I joined as Head of Hotel Division based in Bali. But after meetings in Jakarta with whole team, our CSO offered me to move to Jakarta and acted as Head of Special Project.

I agreed because it would be a new adventure for me. In day to day basis, I was assigned as Project Manager. I lead collaboration among team of IT, Business Development, Marketing and Operations. The project was huge and our team member grew from 9 people to almost 30 people in one year (and it’s proven to be unhealthy).

These years I started to know about startups and its culture. With no basic of project management, I had to become a Project Manager but I nailed it. The lessons I learned:

  • Better to focus on product first and prepared everything to be almost perfect. Yes I know that a project will never be perfect, but launching a website with lots of glitch is a failure. Better don’t.
  • Hierarchical organizational structure didn’t suit me. I didn’t feel comfortable facing many layers just to decide one thing that need in urgent. It gave more headache if the high position was occupied by snob, bossy, incapable person.
  • Better to start with small team but focus, rather than brought lots of employee while our revenue still zero and the growth was still unclear.
  • And so on, and so on.

For me personally, I learned a lot about:

  • Project management. My friend introduced me to Scrum, Agile, etc. As a project manager with no IT background, my rule is simple: make it happens. We are free to have our own method.
  • Prototyping instead of wireframing. One of my friend introduced me to Axure that I still use until now.
  • Testing, testing and testing.

The website of GONLA.com was launched in July 2012. I left the company in February 2013 and GONLA.com was shut down in September 2013. It’s such a pity considering the project has taken lots of costs.