Tag Archives: startup

Five Things I’ve Learned At a Startup – Week 1

It’s been a week and I’m still here. The startup world hasn’t scared me away just yet. In fact, my job isn’t much different from any other job I’ve held. But there are a few things that will take some getting used to.

  • My job changes every day. I’m a member of the sales team, but I am often loaned out to other teams when they need warm bodies. This is occasionally inconvenient, but it usually offers and interesting look into what the guys around me are doing.
  • The company’s goals change constantly. I don’t mean short-term goals; the overarching vision for the future of the organization is subject to change. Few startups are able to enter a new market and maintain a steady course for very long. When the business plan meets the real world, constant course-corrections are inevitable.
  • There is no such thing as a “normal workday”. This is similar to my time as a detective. Some days are 9-5, but that is subject to change suddenly. A coding mistake or a special request from a client can turn an 8-hour day into a 20-hour binge.
  • I am responsible for becoming knowledgable about the market and product. Newborn organizations don’t have employee handbooks and training manuals. With such limited manpower, we have to train on the fly. After a week of studying, the jargon is becoming familiar and it no longer sounds my like coworkers are speaking a different language.
  • There isn’t anyone to watch over my shoulder. As I government worker, I was accustomed to micromanagement. My current job is the opposite; I am trusted to do my work on time. Failing to do so risks disappointing my coworkers and causing them more work. This is a better incentive to perform than any overbearing manager can provide.

I’ll continue to post as I have more to share with you. How does this compare to your work experience? If you’ve worked in a startup, or started a company, I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

Until next time.

-Taft

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I Got a Job!

Despite the pessimistic outlook I expressed in a post a few weeks ago, some opportunities have come my way. I received two job offers last week, which left me with a difficult decision. Accept the safe, steady job with a traditional company, or join the Silicon Valley startup that offers potential for fast advancement, but at much higher risk?

I had less than 48 hours to decide. The decision became easy once I weighed the starting pay against potential for upward mobility. I chose the startup. The traditional company was difficult to turn down because it was a safe bet and an opportunity to learn a new industry, but I couldn’t resist the excitement of joining a great company in its infancy.

Today is my first day as an employee of Keen Systems, a company that is bringing small printing companies into the 21st Century. There are several products in Alpha and Beta stages, so I can’t share much, but our Web-2-Print platform represents an amazing opportunity for small companies in the print industry to take their business online and land new customers in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.

Keen Systems print company

 

I’ll share more about my experiences working for a startup as I learn what I’m allowed to tell you. More to come.

Until next time.

-Taft

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: