Many, not all …
I originally planned on tweeting this, but this needed slightly more than 140 characters.
I understand the spirit of this original post: lots of <10 person companies are complete messes. “All” is a very strong word.
The last company I worked at, Switchboard, a small six person startup, was comparatively well run. They were very conservative with money. There were lots of opportunities for PTO, with a CEO founder who has a lot of understanding for balance (new parent). In the beginning, interviews were done with either contract-to-hire, or weekend projects, or some other way of getting more time to gauge team chemistry. But I sort of knew this going in: I worked with both the founders before, and for a non-trivial amount of time. Leaving was sad, but it was the right thing for me, and we all remain on great terms.
Never discount the value of having a reliable backchannel, and there’s virtually no replacement for having directly worked with people before.