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  • Writer's pictureShaun Looi

Are you startup material?

Ultimately, the answer lies in what you want.

Every startup is different, but most of them have these traits in common:

  • A great sense of personal achievement, coupled with unpredictable hours.

  • A very flat organisation where you get access to top management and everyone does what it takes to get the job done

  • High energy, passionate individuals in small teams with a focused common goal.

The reality of startup companies is that they aren’t for everyone. One person’s cons may be another person’s pros. But evaluating what you want out of a company and where you see your future, you can determine the right fit for you. Startups may fail, but there’s always the chance it will be a success. In either scenario, you will walk away with a rich experience that adds enormous value to your professional growth.

Here are some good questions to ask to assess whether the startup environment is a good fit for you:

  • What stage is the startup at? (early stage or seed round, beta prototype, Series A or B funding?)

  • How fast is the business growing? (Audience/customer size, employee size, valuation)

  • What is the size of the team? (That might give you a clue about work/life balance here)

  • How much flexibility do you have over your working hours?

  • How many years of experience do team members/my future manager have?

  • Are there any learning and educational opportunities provided by the company?

  • How are developers compensated? (Salary? Equity or stock options? Bonuses? Healthcare benefits)

  • Which speaks more to you at this stage in your life - professional growth or a fat paycheck?


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