My boss sent me this link and I rather enjoyed it.
1. Working for a startup means having ownership over your work and doing something that you really believe in, but it also means doing whatever is needed of you.
So true. I think I interview people and they give me these feelings that they need specific marching orders or scope of work. Sure – you hire someone for a specific category or genre of work but truth be told – everyone just needs to do whatever, whenever it is needed. I think this is the fun part but if it turns you off – don’t work at a startup.
2. We all hope for a big exit a la Instagram. However, you should understand the risks and be aware of how rare startup success really is.
True again. People always expect a hit or breakout. I have worked at a few startups. 1 did really well with an acquisition and provided me a nice international career. 1 went belly up but I learned a ton about what never to do again. I always learn and grow at a startup – probably in a year I feel like I had the experiences of working 2 years or longer at a non startup. We all hope for success but it rarely happens. So be careful what you expect and be realistic about it.
3. While getting equity is a big plus and many startups have yummy snacks and fun perks, expect a lower salary and fewer benefits.
I think you will find the lean notion of startups and lean really should mean lean all around. All the bennies are cool but not really fitting with lean in my opinion. There are lots of other bennies to have that don’t always cost money – like allowing people to work from wherever, allowing people to dive into other things that are not their core gig and so on. So expect lower pay and benefits but keep in mind why this happens and what the tradeoffs are.
4. You’ll have lots of exposure to founders at a small startup, but you may get less mentoring than you need.
This is true to some extent but I think most founders are there when you need them or the folks running the company make themselves available as needed. Agreed there might not be a organized mentoring program or a set of mentoring marching orders, save this for big company procedures, but then when a person needs mentoring or help they should ask for it and the mentors should be ready to deliver.
5. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, while startups are a lot of fun, the pressure can be much higher than at other types of companies.
Indeed the pressure is much higher but I think it can be managed if you take the long view. You have to remind yourself that nothing really happens permanently day to day – it is over the many days, weeks and months that the vision comes together and is executed. So day to day it might be easy to stress yourself out or feel like the pressure is to big but if you keep focused on the long term goals and are working on tangible things like revenue, user satisfaction, and product excellence it becomes easier to manage day to day ups and downs while focusing on the long term stuff that matters.
The article was simple and the points almost cliche but they are a pretty honest assessment of some of the basic startup tenants.