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Don’t waste your time in crappy startup jobs. Β« Michael O.Church


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Please don't throw the tomatoes for posting... just curious what ya'll will think about this post.

Is it just the rant of a madman or are there some tiny kernels of truth in there?

You have to work at startups you believe in. Those only there for the money are barking up the wrong tree.

I agree. The best way to make money is Wall Street.

If you're going to optimize on money, go to Wall Street.

Well, it sounds like this guy is about to start a startup workers union:)

This is the problem with people, who do not know what they want and what they are worth. They expect the employer, the founder, "the system" to take care of them. The moment "the system" is not working out, they complain.

At first a person looking for any job, startup especially, needs to figure out their goals:

- get rich

- innovate

- change the world

- find a great team

It does not take senor engineer to make a simple math of investment vs. risk. Why someone with the goal to have stable stream of good money would take massive pay cut and 0.1 points is beyond my understanding.

If the goal is to change the world with the team of great people... well, then why complain about the salary?

You are changing the world!!!

True, there are too many people recently came to the startup party. It is extremely hard to find great leaders, who will make sure that employees, shareholders and customers are all satisfied. This always was the truth regardless of startup of large company.

His points about what needs to be done to protect yourself are good. These instructions will help people to set the thinking framework for proper compensation. Yet, getting to work with the great team and great leaders might require some more flexibility and risk taking.

You cannot begin to understand The Game unless you start playing The Game.

Asking for all kinds of things will prevent you from playing The Game.

Adam, just realized that you are totally right calling this "The Game".

Putting fair valuation on future contribution of a person and expressing this in fair future value of the company, (s)he will contribute to build is actually, absolutely, impossible:)

The ONLY compas in this game is gut feeling, common sense and trust.

Other than this is fantastically long (tl;dr, only read the first para or two of each point).... This is exactly why I stayed away from startups as long as I have after being burned fairly severely by the 90s boom/bust.

I see nothing even remotely out of line with this guy's points. Every developer should keep each of them to heart, imo.

Most of what he says are common sense.

I kept thinking to myself, "People need to be told this?"

Sorry that I posted a "Duh" article. Jason, I agree that this is fantastically long and the guy didn't need to elaborate so much:(

Basically, he's way bitter and needs to get over it. Life goes on!

Well it's obvious he wasn't going for pageviews.. he could've stretched that thing out for weeks ;-)

I don't think he's bitter, as such. I think he's right that a lot of startup devs need to rethink expectations...

Well, and it's interesting that so many peoples' expectations of what a startup is like, are out of line with reality.

Is it because startups tell really good stories?

It seems to me that it's the press facade, like any other gold rush.

Much of the advice is sound, but where the author veers into madman territory is in some his recommendations:

"If you have at least 5 years of programming experience, get a VP title."

This is mind-boggling. If you're actually running a functional department, fine. But no startup would ever give an individual contributor a VP title.

"Until a company IPOs, don't accept cliff vesting."

Any person who follows this advice simply won't work in Silicon Valley. I did know one founder who would fire executives before they hit their cliff, but he was a very rare exception.

Chris, agreed.

Individual contributors cannot be VPs, and no startup would hire someone without a cliff.

And rare is the company that fires someone just because they're going to hit their cliff.

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