Every year, at some point, recruiters at Google reach out to me with a very compelling message on why working at Google will be 10x better than what I am currently doing. But every year, for the past 4 or so years, I have had to say no.

Don’t get me wrong — I love Google!! And having spent the past couple of years finishing up my masters at Stanford, I have even more respect and understanding of how Google is doing what it is doing (Stanford and Google have always had very close ties). In fact, this past weekend I was at Google’s women tech-makers conference at their headquarters in Mountain View and was in awe of how well Google celebrated diversity. Their female leaders like Ruth Porat (CFO Alphabet) and Megan Smith (ex-VP Google, current CTO of the White House) are breaking stereotypes and are tremendous role models for me personally.

However, I did work in a corporate setting for 7+ years (mostly at Microsoft Redmond and Mountain View). The amount of growth that I have gotten in the past year alone, as the founder of my own startup Ropazi, has topped what I learned in those 7 years. I have worked as the CTO, COO, growth hacker, strategist, coder, product manager, business developer, UX designer, copy writer and much more in the past year alone. I have constantly been out of my comfort zone and have learned from the smartest people that I have ever known. And most of all — I have LOVED every minute of it (well, not every minute, but you catch my drift :) ). I don’t know if I will ever enjoy and grow from something I love as much as I have with Ropazi.

For those curious, here is what I wrote back to the recruiter:

Hey xxx!
Thank you so much for reaching out. I love how Google is so prompt with its follow ups and how data-driven processes are within Google. I really appreciate that you keep in touch with me and follow up from time to time in innovative ways.
This past week I was part of Google’s Women Techmakers conference at the Mt. View campus and Ruth Porat (CFO Alphabet) mentioned in her talk that she was very surprised at how early stage Google still is. I believe that is a major strength that Google has over all its competitors — how it can still innovate and behave like a startup however big it gets. So BRAVO to you guys and tremendous respect.
So after this long an introduction, I wanted to update you on my current situation. I finished my Masters in Management Sciences and Engineering at Stanford in 2015. While at Stanford, I also started my own company called Ropazi. In the past year or so, we have taken the company through StartX (Stanford’s top accelerator — extremely competitive. Stanford University funds the companies that go through StartX), raised our first round of funding, hit product market fit, built a great product (a conversational commerce platform that is now being enhanced with AI and NLP), built a team of 7 people and we are launching to the world soon.
I am currently in the weeds building up Ropazi and we are growing at a tremendous pace. I am enjoying all of it greatly and have grown a lot from this experience — I have worked as the CTO, COO, growth hacker, strategist, coder, product manager, business developer, UX designer, copy writer for Ropazi in the short span of a year!
For now, I will need to pass up on this exciting opportunity from Google because I am having too much fun building Ropazi :) But rest assured I truly appreciate your reach-outs and hope that you keep me in mind for the future as well
Best, Sophia

I would love to hear what you think about working at a corporation vs working at a startup?

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