Taking a Side Road

Finding My Way — Ethan Sykes

When I graduated college, I had two options: get a safe & well paying job or work at a risky startup. I had a great experience working at an amazing large corporation as a intern, but I wanted to taste the magical world of startups. I wanted to join a fast paced company that allowed me to make a large impact at the company.

I had the privilege and honor of working at Paperfree. I had the amazing opportunity to wear many hats. I worked on everything from design and dabbling in code, to growth/content marketing. I learned more in my 8 months at the startup than I have in almost a year of schooling.

I boarded my flight yesterday at Bradley International Airport. In my many months in the heart of NYC, I have had the honor to work with amazing people building their life passions.

Startup life is almost as everything as advertised. You work long hours, you think you land on a pot of gold but your product changes, you gain some and you lose some, or you hope to get funded only to repeat the process again. Sometimes, you can get lucky and fully thrive without any funding rounds.

My experience at the startup was an amazing one.

I’ve met many great people at my time at the startup and learned a lot of valuable skills:

Networking — Building/managing relationships.


Growth Marketing/Product Marketing — Every single damn KPI.


Fundamentally, I learned that you can’t sell your product if your product sucks. Marketers are like magicians, but magic won’t save a shitty product.

It was everything that I hoped it would be. Ultimately, the startup was in a crossroads and I couldn’t afford to stay any longer. It was a tough decision but I decided it was a good opportunity to transition.

With my girlfriend moving into the Dallas Forth-Worth Area, I decided it was a good time to make a change.

I am moving to Dallas in search of a new opportunity.

Always Moving and Shaking.

In the meantime, I will be giving it 100! I’ll be cooking a meal for the next 100 days! Check it out on my Instagram “rk_yen

Thanks for reading! I’d really appreciate it if you recommend this post (by clicking the ❤ button) so other people can find it!

Like what you read? Give Ryan Yen a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.