What should you look at before joining a Startup?

I was searching for articles on questions to be asked before joining a startup online and found some great advices to be asked to an employer like:

  • Do you offer employee stock option
  • Has there ever been a down round or a flat round, or a change in Management
  • The burn rate of the company
  • Current cash balance in the bank
  • Exit strategy and its timeframe

They seem to great questions to be asked by an investor than potentially a prospective employee. But unfortunately Business Plan is available to potential Investors and not potential employees.

Off late I feel people view startups as a way to make money (lot of money!) in a short term. Stock Options are invariable great rewards which an employee perceives to turn into Million(S).

Employees have made/keep making good money through IPO/Selling of startups, but we forget that it was not the Vision to become a $Billion that these companies entailed on. These companies envisioned to create leader products, some amidst after seeing lot of failures.

I will always advise an employee to do a research on the company and understand it better before taking an offer. The inherent financial risk of a startup will always remain in all phases, sometimes it will be difficult to even judge by its books. The major parameters you should look are the Management, Passion and Work Culture. But also don’t forget to check if you can align yourself with its vision. Look into the possibilities of your effort getting recognised and whether you can keep yourself motivated in its culture.

I am sure if you see yourself through with these you will get recognised and remember this recognition will definitely bring you rewards (Salary Increment, Stock Options and Promotions).

While am not a career advisor, I wish to just share my opinion.

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