Should you work for a startup?
Recently this incident occurred that has encouraged me to write at blog here.
To tell you more about myself — I am a software guy from Bangalore India. Like a lot of people I moved to this city 3 years back with a dream to start my own company.
I ended up confounding two companies in the last three years and like most companies I couldn’t sustain my startups. So, I decided to join a friend’s startup(recently funded) more to know what I was doing wrong. I took the role of handling their whole software operations. They gave me a fairly experienced team. They were hiring fast as they had pace.
I was placed very well in that kind of an environment. These are few things that suited me
Things were made fast.
Things were discarded even faster.
Had to learn new tech fast (like really fast).
Product was never perfect. It always needed work.
Had to communicate with sales team every hour to keep them up with product updates that happened almost every day.
Everything was fast paced.
Had to work on tech that I never heard of.
Zero help or guidance. Only the product mattered @ EOD
I could cope up with everything as I had been through these situations. Thing is I was enjoying every bit of it. The whole environment had life and blood, the need to sustain, to survive.
But not all things were in order when I noticed that some of our team members had a hard time with adjusting to such a pace. They were falling behind. They were given jobs that were too hard for them and nobody cared if they would be able to do them ( You expect a lot from a person in a startup). They had steep learning curve and very little time.
As it would happen in most cases like it they couldn’t deliver. They were getting depressed. But more importantly they were bringing the whole pace of things down. Others had dependency on their work and they could not deliver as well. Gradually, we had to give them work that was never important or never would be used just to keep them busy.
But doing that I only realised this was hurting their careers as they were going nowhere. So, I had to make the hard decision to relieve them of their duties. It was hard, harder than I thought. It was like you pull the lever of a machine that was designed to sit and do nothing. But it had to be done.
So, all I want to say is if you like to fail, if you like pace and sheer exuberance of getting loaded with responsibilities and delivering in time then do consider joining a start up. Otherwise I would say join a bigger company.