Want to join a Startup? Find out if you should!
Have you just recently gotten an offer from a startup that is lucrative? Have you had enough of the startup trend and decided to join-in?
Well, hold your horses right there, because not everyone is cut from the same cloth, and startups are surely no common wardrobe material. It takes a certain persona and character to fit right in with a startup. Unlike MNCs, being in a startup means the chances are, you are the entire team for that product/sales/marketing(something that you were earlier only a small part of).
So what exactly is it that you should keep in mind before thinking of joining that particular startup:
1) Who are the people you are going to be working for/with?
In most cases, the success of a startup is only as stable or viable as the people leading it. A lot can be said about the startup based on the founder’s profiles and personas. So what is it that you are looking for in their past? Look at their past occupations, their publications, media mentions, achievements. All these things are an indicator of who they are.
It is imperative that the founders aren’t just friendly, but also good people. Ideally you want them to be people you can hang out or go for a drink with.
2) Investigate the possible success/failure for the product
Yes, you read that correct!! It is really important that you spend plenty of time surveying how well the company has been doing and how it’s competitors are faring. Are they so far ahead that you think it is too hard to get a foothold in the market? If they are, what or how will the startup get its product up and running to compete with the existing ones?
The other thing you should keep in mind is, is the product or the organizational mission something that you believe in? Do you really believe in the company objective? If your answer is anything but an involuntary “yes”, you should reconsider. Because having second thoughts means you have doubts, and there should be no doubts when you are planning to join the startup as one of the key contributors.
3) Ask about the money, consider the compensation, see how it is being spent
One might think of it as a rude question to ask in an interview, but trust me, it is perfectly normal. Look up the investors, is it one of the A grade venture capital firms, if yes, then you can rest easy because these firms do their due diligence before committing to any startup.
However, you must be cautious if the investors aren’t from such reputed Capital Firms, because it is no surprise how fast most startups can burn through raised capital. The idea is to be sure that you get paid at the end of the month and not end up working for free in the hope of investments that are promised in the future.
4) It will be “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!!”
Most people in MNCs are used to working on just one thing in a given particular project. There is no lateral movement, and you take care of one thing only.
Fast forward that to a startup, and everyone is supposed to help out in everything. No matter what your role is, you are expected to offer everything you can for the company.
This is the biggest reason startups create most valued and employable people of all places. But that doesn’t come without a price. Namely, long working hours, tiring yet educative sessions extending late into the night, not much sleep/social life and so on. You have to be prepared to learn more and more things to keep up with the pace of work and its requirements.
A lot of talented developers simply can’t stand up to the pace of life in a startup and succumb to the whims. But it is you who knows what pace you can operate at and whether you will be comfortable working at that given pace.
5) Why make the switch?
End of the day, the facts are merely facts. It is you who has to make the decision, and it is you who has to suffer the consequences of it. Introspection is something that a lot of people forfeit for the lack of a better word.
So ask yourself this, “Why is it that I want to join that early stage startup?” If you know the answer to that question and it is a definitive, analysis backed response, go ahead, you are ready to join it.
But if you are someone who has only just made a decision to join a startup and looking for an opportunity, make sure you head to places like Xobin Hacker space, where multiple Startups are looking for talented developers based on skill and skill only.
Remember, the choice is yours. Make sure you take an educated decision.