Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

The allure of the startup

As Zingdom has turned into a genuine startup over the past month, I've been reflecting on the nature of the game. One thing that has been surprising me in the past few years has been the realization that most people don't seem to share my fondness for the idea.

I mean, there's a lot that I love about tiny startups. There's no bureaucracy to speak of, and each person makes a huge difference. You know everybody in the company, and you can have a great deal of influence if you try. If it's well-run, salary and benefits are generally quite solid. They're usually hanging way out over the bleeding edge technically. And there's usually at least an outside chance of changing the world, and getting rich off the lottery tickets they call "options".

Of course, there are arguably some downsides. Job security is more or less zero: on any given day, you might discover that the company no longer exists. You really can't slack off for any serious period of time, because everyone matters, and the team had better all be grownups or you have a recipe for disaster. You have to be quite disciplined personally, and responsible for yourself, because big brother isn't prodding you in appropriate directions. The hours can get out of hand, although a good company won't demand that too often.

I find myself curious about what people think about this, so it's time for a completely unscientific poll!
Poll #1078096 Does the startup life appeal to you?

Does the idea of working at a little startup, rather than a more established company, appeal to you? Note that I think of "startup" mainly as a state of mind, rather than a statement about the company's age -- it's all about the high-risk, high-reward, tiny-company mentality.

I mostly do work at startups, and love them.
8(27.6%)
It sounds great!
6(20.7%)
Eh -- I could take it or leave it.
2(6.9%)
Possible, but I prefer something more established.
5(17.2%)
Ick -- seriously not my cup of tea.
8(27.6%)

Which of the following do you *most* like to see in a job? Choose up to four.

Amount of salary
0(0.0%)
Friendly work environment
0(0.0%)
Predictable hours
0(0.0%)
Flexible hours
0(0.0%)
Exciting work
0(0.0%)
A workplace that doesn't remind me of Dilbert
0(0.0%)
Job Security
0(0.0%)
Risk
0(0.0%)
A well-structured environment that provides me with guidance
0(0.0%)
A chance to do something Big and Important
0(0.0%)
Low stress
0(0.0%)
A chance to get rich
0(0.0%)
Opportunities for rapid personal career advancement
0(0.0%)
Benefits like excellent health insurance
0(0.0%)
Really shining as an individual contributor
0(0.0%)
Satisfying customers
0(0.0%)
Management who share my values
0(0.0%)
Opportunities for technical growth
0(0.0%)
Proximity to home
0(0.0%)
Congenial co-workers
0(0.0%)
Smart co-workers
0(0.0%)
Tags: poll, work
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