The Startup Environment: It’s A Real Thing

August 2, 2017
written by Daniel Coyle  AngelList | LinkedIn | Email | Twitter

I’ve interviewed, hired, and onboarded hundreds of startup employees. During the interview process, whenever I’m asked, “what should I know about XYZ company?”, I always tell them to be sure they truly want to work at a startup.

One person’s baggage is another person’s opportunity. To me, being a part of a startup equates to bathing in opportunity. But to those who are better suited to larger, more legacy-style companies, startups come with a lot of baggage.

If you’re like me, the thought of having a very loose title and job description, with things constantly being thrown at you outside of those boundaries, is exciting, empowering, and provides a sense of ownership and inclusion. But, many in the job-seeking community are accustomed to (and prefer) knowing exactly what their specific job entails, what their coworker’s job entails, and that there is little-to-no bleed-over or grey areas.

When you’re talking to prospective hires, be sure to explain the realities surrounding the startup environment and what it might mean for them. If you’re looking to enter the startup world as an employee, be ready for a lot of ambiguity, lack of resources, having to be scrappy and accomplish more with less.

Startups aren’t for everybody. Above all else, be sure you hire people who have the horsepower, work ethic, and mindset for your startup. Job-seekers: ask specific, thoughtful questions and be sure to do your homework to find out as much as you can about the startup and the experience of its employees.

If you want to discuss your startup, organization, or department in more specific detail, feel free to email me. I’m happy to see if I can help!