6 Points to Consider before joining a Startup
This article discusses the 6 Points to Consider before joining a Startup. As we have seen in our previous article “Has investment crunch arrived in India?” that a lot is happening in the startup world. Developments are happening at light’s speed, so much so that Goldman Sach had to revise their estimates, (made in May 2015), just after 5 months. According to the revised estimates India’s e-commerce market is expected to be more than $ 100 billion market by FY20 (earlier estimated $81 billion). The major catalysts of growth written in the report being “increasing Internet and smartphones, digital wallet adoption, last mile logistics investments continued discounting and better execution.” As we also discussed in the article “Has investment crunch arrived in India?” that with these whooping numbers companies are gearing up hiring process for following reasons:
To Show Results:
In order to pitch for investors, companies are hiring in bulk from various type of meets organized by tech media etc.,
To Speed up process:
As soon a company bags investments, it starts increasing its scale either geographically or in volume
In this haste of hiring, startups do hire without putting much brains and efforts into it and end up firing people after some time, recent examples being- Zomato, Tiny Owl, Housing.com, Local Banya.
Companies might hide their skins beneath a variety of excuses like Zomato says, we are “Shifting Focus to what Matters”, Tiny Owl calls it a “move to increase productivity and efficiency by eliminating strategic positions” and so on. But dear friend whatever craps they give there is a high probability of your back getting hit by them at any point for any silly thing under the sun.
As featured in Economic Times -According to the Annual Startup Survey conducted by recruitment portal Hiree, showed that more people are willing to work with the startups (9/10people looking for a change). The main reasons to join a startup being:
To work on latest technology.
Learning the ropes of startup (work across domain)
Below info graphics shows the change in the response of people on few parameters over last year.
You might love getting your name attach to any of good going startups with a nice tag of higher position but do your home work before catching this low hanging fruit.
1. Analyze Yourself:
Are you a passionate and tireless person. Everybody thinks he is, but when put under stress test they find startups not the place for him or her. As put by Deepinder Goyal (Zomato) – Working for startups, “ More often than not, it means unpredictable work hours, tight deadlines, moving targets, and ambiguity. It also means working weekends, missing out on social commitments, and counting the espresso machine among your close friends.” If you still find all these things to be under your belt, then let’s move on to the next challenge.
2. Are you prepared for the uncertainty?
It is good that startups excite you, but the excitement does not run our lives. With the recent trend shown by many startups of hiring and firing, it is a much serious issue to be thought of before joining the company. After all it’s you bread and butter and of course you don’t want to carry that ugly scar of “being fired” through out your career life.
3. Know your employer:
It is best if you get a chance to interact with the founders directly (Which is not so hard) that gives you an idea of not only how good your employer is but also what culture does the company follow. When it is a startup founders personality is much reflected in the culture of the company since the company is too naïve to be decentralized.
Check his credentials, if he is an experienced and successful entrepreneur, any company he has led before, credentials of the founders etc.,
Yes, enough of you being interviewed every time by the employer, its your turn to flip through their resume and stamp your yes or no.
4. Is it funded? If yes, then who are the Investors:
Investors are the indirect kind of employers of yours. They can poke their nose in any crap of your organization. If the investors of the company are credible ones like Soft bank, Tiger Global, SAIF partners, Sequoia Capital, then you can relax a bit. The credible the investor, the safer you are.
Investors not just pump dollars into the company; they make sure their money does not sink to the bottom with the company. (When Housing.com got devalued from $ 400 million to $ 50 million, its previous investor Softbank came to rescue the company by buying stake at a higher valuation)
5. Check the future prospects of the industry, your company is operating in:
Many companies are closing their operations, many are being acquired a lot of consolidation happening presently and on the cards also. Those industries which have a high cash burn rate and operational cost, is no doubt a risky proposition for you too.
6. What stage the startup is in:
If it is in a very nascent stage then yes it is a bigger gamble. But you can back on your instincts sometimes. If you feel the potential in the startup then you might strike a Jackpot even. One friend of mine, who developed the app for a startup, did so in exchange of some equity because the company had no money to offer. That 10% stake made him a millionaire now.
There is no Organization, which can guarantee job forever but if you are the right match for the company then only something happening very bad with the startup can make you face bad consequences. You cannot control everything, but do at least what you can. Please let us know your views on the same. Wish you luck!!