When to join a startup 1







Most recently, a friend of mine, a Software Developer came to know that his startup is shutting down, and he will lose his job soon. Well, his fate is better than another colleague, who lost his job on a day’s notice. Startups are great, when they do well, or seem to do wellSo, while many of us are excited about startups, we need to understand why we should join a start-up.

From my startup experiences at Appsterix, which I founded, Inmobi which I joined very early, and Unitedlex where I worked as a contractor, I have come to realise that the best time to join a startup is early. My reasons are the following

You have a chance to setup the company for the future

You will be in touch with the realities of business

Your learning will stay with you for a lifetime

Yes, the next Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter is always around the corner and I do hope you get a chance to be part of that rocket-ship. Many a times, such journeys are cut short because of lack of funds, market response and execution issues. Most likely (90%+) your startup will fail, and it will fail because of the above three, and other infinite reasons.

If you join a late stage startup, you will most likely get the benefits of working at scale, which experienced professionals are good at. However, some of the baggage that they bring from their past jobs, may hinder the rate of growth of the product itself. There are exceptions to this rule, if this is a rule. If the team is a sucker for chaos, pats its back by solving problems then reducing of chaos and energy is severely limiting.

I don’t think chaos is such a bad thing at all, when the company is expanding its team, revenues & geographies.

What’s really bad for a startup is — stability, status quo!

My friend worked for a video streaming startup, where there were way too many rounds of funding, the VP Engineering left, investors were giving founders a hard time and at the core of problems — the product was just not selling and things still seemed stable! Well to be fair to my friend, he didn’t join a startup, he joined a mid-size company (over 350 employees) and he wanted a job. In my view that was his blind side. He was trying to make a career at a place where none of factors were leading a chaotic startup to a revenue generating stable organization. Frankly, a handful of companies have had the opportunity to do so. And how lucky they are!

If you ever consider joining a startup, do it because you believe you can setup your company for the next level and you will cherish your learning for a lifetime.

You may not live rich in the end, but you will surely be not left poor. Differentiate between good and bad chaos.


– This post has been reproduced from Rohit’s blog with his permission. Recently his startup Appsterix has been acquired by 24-7Inc.