Should I Invest as an Investor or Employee? How To Categorize Software Startups

I recently met a “Super-angel” as defined by helpfulness both literally and financially. He presented a clear POV and archetypical technologist response (as depicted at the bottom) for where tech is going. This aligned well with our view of the world at Medigram. Hence, it triggered my curiosity for understanding why there is so much noise and confusion in technology today, even just in software. The purpose of this post is to assist investors and potential employees in understanding better yourself and how to describe the kinds of companies or environment that is a fit for you and/or your team’s interests and tendencies.

I was also inspired by the Crunchbase breakdown above on the kinds of technology Startups which dominate in S.F. compared to the Valley. One of our investors who is an engineer refers to it as “fluffy tech” vs “real tech”. Though that is tongue in cheek, we are based in S.V. and when I talk to CEO’s of many S.F. based Startups, I literally feel as if I am from Mars and they are from Venus. I want to know what technical problem they’re solving and why it matters, and they want to talk about user engagement and business innovation leveraging pre-existing, well-known technologies. Neither of these approaches is right or wrong. Though make no mistake, these are completely different kinds of companies and people. The most important attribute to satisfying work relationships is being clear about priorities with respect to yourself as well as the personality and capabilities of the firm or company you are leading. Your vision drives the priorities which helps you attract the right kinds of collaborators and drive clear, meaningful discussions based on clearly knowing yours and identifying others’ priorities. This way you can avoid head scratching and one party asking, why is she talking about Oranges when I want to talk about Apple?

The best Startup CEO’s are obsessed with how product addresses their customers’ pains. The kind of problem they’re solving shapes the personality of the company. As an investor or potential employee, it’s good to know what kind of company you and your team prefer from left to right depicted below. Most Startups fall squarely into one of these buckets while large “hard/real tech” companies may have a variety. This way when you talk with your teams, you can make sure you are all clear on what matters and why.

In what kind of company will you thrive or create as listed below at the bottom.