Create or Join a Startup?

When I decided to join startup, I was also thinking that I will create one myself, one day.

confuse about future career path

I was still studying in college and already started to work part-time for some startups as programmer, I worked remotely from my dorm most of the time but had something like weekly meeting to sync-up with my managers (which directly the founders).

Long story sort, after thinking about my future career path and tried working several months in more established company, I finally decided to work as full-time programmer for one of startup that I joined before. I had long conversations with the founders regarding this choice.

This decision cost me a lot financially because I was getting much less than what I get when joining that established company. However, I could still fulfill my basic Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at that moment.

I also believed that this decision would pay off and give me a lot more opportunities rather than just quick money.

Some of the biggest consideration of joining startup instead of create my own:

I like the team members, (actually there were no other people than founders that time, I was the first full-time employee). I like how they were doing and react to any specific event happening the company. They were not experienced guys yet in startup, but I saw they were always improving every single day. They like to learn, and obsessed to be better.

I was thinking that if I join and help them, I could give much more value rather than creating my own startup from scratch (I don’t have any solid idea and team yet anyway).

I was also thinking that I could learn a lot by joining this very early stage startup and someday can use these knowledge in my own future startup.

I realized that creating a startup company is not the same with only creating a software product. To create a good company, we really need to do lot of things. By joining startup as a employee, I can have chance to do only the thing that I am good at. However I have options to do lot more than that and contribute much more because I can see very clearly what are the company still missing.

My impact could be very huge, even when I am not titled as founder of the company.

I was happy to just code and solve technical problem in company, but feel really great when I can help the founders and the company much more than that.

Somehow I never really think that I just employee, so I don’t have responsibility to think a lot about the company’s future. I care about the company as I feel that company is mine too and I want it to be success.

This is based on my actual story on 2013.

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