For the last several months I have been in the unique position of working at both an established
technology company who dominates their particular sector and a brand new start-up technology
business. The former has numerous advantages such as deep pockets of monies for new ideas to be
nurtured to life, as well as proven practices, which lead to success in every facet of the business. It is
also one of the rare larger firms who operates like a startup by taking bold actions such as establishing
themselves in new markets. This is rare combination that is exception.
Honestly, because of structure and the immense amount of training/help available, an established
organization is where the majority of people should start and continue working at. I make such a
statement for two key reasons. The first reason is because the chances for success are much greater.
Secondly, more people than not, are adverse to change, especially the immense amount of change,
which routinely happens in a startup environment.
Why then should you even consider the rapidly changing, never two hours, let alone two days the same,
life of a startup? Perhaps you have the heart of an entrepreneur beating in you. If the reasons below
make sense to you and you are early in your working career, I suggest you give it a spin and see.
Reason Number One Conquering Daily Challenges
First of all, do you the immense challenges and the almost daily adrenaline rushes stemming from
conquering the ever present new and different challenges. There is not a single day, sometimes not
a single hour that goes by, where you do not face a challenge, which would never be found in any
employee handbook. This requires innovative problem solving. My favorite part is the added difficulty
factor of solving most problems without spending any money!
Reason Number Two Assembling an All-Star Team
Unless this is your very first rodeo, you will know and cherish various top performers from previous
organizations. This is your chance to truly create a group of all stars for your startup. You should know
their strengths and just as importantly your weaknesses, thereby allowing for some custom blending.
A vital side note here is the fact you can avoid painful and costly early hiring mistakes by hiring your
previous top performers. This can jump start any new enterprise.
Reason Number Three an Opportunity to Solve a More Isolated Key Problem or Need
This should be obvious as a fundamental reason for the creation of any startup, but since 9 out 10 new
businesses fail, it is often ignored. The very reason for the existence of a brand new organization is
to fully address a critical problem facing the sub sector you chose to serve. Being a startup, you can
address even small segments of a particular market. Often, you can use this as a key advantage against
established competitors who cannot be as nimble as you can. What fun you and your team will have if
you achieve this goal!
Reason Number Four a Chance to Experiment
Any new endeavor’s is free from the traditions and habits so ingrained in older organizations. You can
try new products such as cloud based word processing and email as well brand new processes. For
some reason it seems easier to fail by trying something new in the startup world. The repercussions
usually are smaller since you tend to operate on more of a shoestring budget. Take full advantage of
that and experiment as often as you can.
Reason Number Five an Opportunity to Truly Shape the Culture
This reason has some fun associated with it. Just like starting a brand new family from two individuals
or more who unite in order form traditions and viewpoints, a new organization uses its initial employees
to create those. You have every chance to decide how formal or informal you care to be. More
importantly, you determine how your customers, members, supporters and of course employees are
treated. It is a big responsibility and as I mentioned can have a dose of fun and spirit thrown in. The
culture of a larger established organization can obviously be further shaped, but it is often a slower
process. In fact, I urge anyone about to accept an employment offer to pay close attention to this vital
concept called culture.
So, whether you are considering a new fundraising software firm like Bloomerang or a more established organization of some nature take a good look in the mirror and ask to the above reasons excite or scare me. Either way you go, plunge in and make it a success!