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New Job... Series D Funding... Startup vs big corporate entity

By joshuatrio following x   2017 Jul 20, 9:47am 564 views   10 comments   watch   quote     share  


I just put in my 2 week notice at my current job - to go leave and do tech work for another large "stable" corporation.

Same day I put in my notice, my buddy called me up and offered me a job making considerably more at a startup that just received 100 million in series D funding.

So, I'm wondering if I should stick with the large stable corporation, or jump ship to the startup. I don't know much about series D funding and it looks like it could be both good or bad.

Any advice from you tech heads?

1 KimJongUn   ignore (0)   2017 Jul 20, 11:10am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Moar money is moar money.

2 joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jul 20, 11:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Straw Man says

True, but the other position is a lot more stable, and I plan on being in this area 10 years. The stable company is a good long term bet.

I'm more interested into your views on series D funding and those familiar with startups.

3 Goran_K   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 20, 11:29am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

joshuatrio says

So, I'm wondering if I should stick with the large stable corporation, or jump ship to the startup. I don't know much about series D funding and it looks like it could be both good or bad.

Startups that have reached "Series D" have shown considerable staying power IMO, and are past the "startup" stage. I don't know the product or service your friend's company is offering but if they are on their 4th or 5th round of funding (depending on whether they received a seed round), it shows me the following:

- Profitability or high chance of future profitability
- Investors/Angels/VCs trust the founders or current board enough to keep giving them money
- Business processes more mature

The cons of joining the company at this stage is that the upside from joining an early stage company is all but completely gone, yet they are still reliant on investor money (less stable than established profitable companies). I guess what I'm saying is that you lose the large reward, but still have some of the risk of early stage companies. Usually by this point even the founders have been diluted into single digit ownership percentages (or have been long bought out), and you might be coming in as employee 100+ with either no ownership options, or not very lucrative class B options with longer vesting terms.

If they are offering any percentage from the class B ownership pool, and a good salary, that sounds pretty good and might give you more incentive to jump from the "giant ABC corp". But if it's just the salary, I think the stability of the big corporations trumps a larger salary from a Series D firm that "may" be stable and profitable in the future.

4 FortWayne   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 20, 11:41am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote        

You are an engineer, probably a good one too because how easily you get jobs. That's a telling line.

$100 Million is a lot, that means a lot of stability, and being start up means a lot of opportunity to grow if you are willing to put in the work. Worst case it'll go under in few years, will you have a hard time getting another job or no? If you are a good engineer, you are set, you got nothing to worry about. Hopefully part of your offer is some company shares, if they go public you'll make extra money.

I'd recommend taking risk. Consider their business, do you think it's a product that you'll be interested or passionate about to develop? If someone gave them 100M, that's not willy nilly, that's serious money. D usually means, they are a strong company, but not growing as well as they hoped to through previous investments.

5 anonymous   ignore (5)   2017 Jul 20, 2:33pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

i'll just remind you of some of the perils of a large corporation:

utterly obsessed with cheap labor
endless bureaucracy
most all of them have bent the knee to SJW's or at the least have a hard time managing them
very little innovation / chance to innovate - they prefer easy money
the top 20% of perfromers do 80% of the work, but don't get a commensurate reward (labor force socialism)
death by 1000 small cuts to benefits and work/life balance items
self-licking ice cream cone status (these places exist just to keep existing, and they've needed the government's help to do so / reference: very little innovation)
they often "green the staff" / reference: obsessed with cheap labor

just consider all sides.

6 lostand confused   ignore (0)   2017 Jul 20, 2:46pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Large corporations especially IT is not stable at all. Most are into outsourcing etc-especially when IT is not core. So stability is a myth.

7 RealEstateIsBetterThanStocks   ignore (1)   2017 Jul 20, 9:57pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

i would only pick the start-up if:

1. i get stocks
2. i think it will eventually go public or be bought with products that sell.

8 joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jul 21, 4:11pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

RealEstateIsBetterThanStocks says

i would only pick the start-up if:

1. i get stocks

2. i think it will eventually go public or be bought with products that sell.

Agree... But the other big perk for the startup is 100% telecommute. Kinda weighing my options now.

9 BayAreaObserver   ignore (1)   2017 Sep 14, 1:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Really, Everything is Going Great at My Tech Startup. I Just Have Some Payroll Questions....

To: Kathy.McPherson@PayrollDoneRite.com
From: Dave@Zocroft.co
Time: 8:15AM; Thursday, July 27

Hi Kathy!

Forgive the delay, things are just crazy over here at Zocroft! #Deals I’ve attached this week’s payroll as usual. Gotta get the team paid! Crushing it!

To: Dave@Zocroft.co
From: Kathy.McPherson@PayrollDoneRite.com
Time: 9:33AM; Thursday, July 27

Hello Dave,

Great to hear things are going well. Just to clarify, I see you didn’t include yourself in this pay cycle. Was this done in error?
- - -
To: Kathy.McPherson@PayrollDoneRite.com
From: Dave@Zocroft.co
Time: 9:34AM; Thursday, July 27

Hey Girl!

lol, you’re always on top of it! No, just trying to put the team first. #BossGoals Loving this ride so much it doesn’t even feel like work.

To: Dave@Zocroft.co
From: Kathy.McPherson@PayrollDoneRite.com
Time: 9:33AM; Thursday, July 27

Hello Dave,

OK, I will get this processed today as you sent it. Thank you and have a good weekend!

To: Kathy.McPherson@PayrollDoneRite.com
From: Dave@Zocroft.co
Time: 9:35AM; Thursday, July 27

Hey Kathy,

Just asking generally, really doesn’t matter right now, but I’m curious, do you know how immediate the cash needs to be in our bank account for payroll to process? Work’s so crazy I haven’t even been able to get to the bank to deposit all these fat checks sitting on my desk. #CantStopWontStop

To: Dave@Zocroft.co
From: Kathy.McPherson@PayrollDoneRite.com
Time: 9:42AM; Thursday, July 27

Hello Dave,

It is imperative that the company account have the full amount to be processed immediately. Do you want me to delay processing payroll? I need to know by 1 PM EST.

- - -

To: Kathy.McPherson@PayrollDoneRite.com
From: Dave@Zocroft.co
Time: 1:15PM; Thursday, July 27
- - -
Hi Kath,

Forgive my delay, I just had an interview to appear on Shark Tank later this year and to celebrate I put some time on our company slide! :) #BeThankful I was just thinking it would be really #onBrand for us at Zocroft if we threw a major party to celebrate how much we’ve been killing it these last couple weeks. #WorkHardPlayHard We do this sort of thing all the time and all the Zocrofters always want to contribute something. They really don’t have to since we’re like printing money over here but it means a lot to them. So change of plans: let’s go ahead and just run payroll like normal but let’s just cut everything by half. Thanks! Hope your weekend is chill!

More: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/really-everything-is-going-great-at-my-tech-startup-i-just-have-some-payroll-questions
10 JZ   ignore (0)   2017 Sep 14, 11:24am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

If your energy level is low, go for big corp. If your energy is high, it depends on your personality.
If you are a constructive contributor who feels happy by creating things, go for start up. If you are by nature a politician who feels happy by transferring other people's creation into your hands, go for big corp and spend your energy doing political fight there.

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