What a start up is and is not

Working in the startup world frequently begets the question, “so what’s startup life like?” Here’s a quick bulleted summary for your perusal. Short answer, startup life is incredible and incredibly tough. You learn a lot in a short period of time, and are encouraged, nay, forced, to take on an enormous amount of responsibility. A startup is great for people who are self-motivated, able to thrive in ambiguity, and unafraid of drastic changes. And while most people self-diagnose themselves with these traits, an honest introspection is required before confirming that you do indeed possess these qualities. Caveat, you may not know you have these characteristics until you’re thrown into the deep end and forced to swim.

With that, I’ll begin. Note that these things are true, as per my experience, for a non-engineering role.

What a startup is:

  • A setting where you will learn many things very quickly without a clearly defined teacher

  • An opportunity to dabble in a little bit of everything

  • The ideal place to learn a thing or two about what to do when building a company

  • The idea place to learn a thing or two about what NOT to do when building a company

  • An environment where you shoulder more responsibility than you would at a larger company with your level of experience

  • A company that feels more like one close knit team

  • A place where every hour counts

What a startup is not:

  • A place to get rich quick

  • A surefire bet to professional success

  • An environment where you will find mentors and guidance

  • A company where the future is clearly defined

  • A work environment where processes are already established

  • A lifestyle where weekends actually mean something

Disagree? Have anything to add? Shoot me a note!