January 14th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
His thesis: the meme that startups will make you rich is false. I’ve written much of the same thing before, so I agree with Dan.
My question is why more engineers don’t realize that being an employee at a startup usually means getting financially screwed. My theory: there is a cult like atmosphere surrounding silicon valley.
I’ve had countless friends who fell into the trap, and I fell into it myself.
Founding a company is the only thing that makes sense, and even then, your chances for success are much lower than you think they are.
I left Google to found startups for 2.5 years. I remember reading TechCrunch before I left, and I remember being consciously aware of how I was only reading the success stories, and that I couldn’t see all the people struggling and failing.
Even being consciously aware, I was still surprised 2 years later when my founder and I had to crawl back to the big companies we left with our tails between our legs. We had a rockstar team with backgrounds from top tier companies and engineering schools, but no aqui-hire materialized out of thin air like I thought it might. We built kick-ass technology, but nobody was interested.
Granted, we were entitled, and we did 1000 things wrong. We didn’t have a very good network, and we lived in the wrong places. My point is that we had blatantly wrong expectations.