One of the awesome things about a growing startup community is the what people think about when they find out about it. The first people are the service providers. They all try to make a little money servicing the community. As companies get built and more money finds its way into the ecosystem, programmers and builders start to enter. Early startup communities attract a diverse set of people from all kinds of backgrounds; the trustifarian, the top school grad, the blue-haired artist, the programmer hipster. It’s energetic and cool.
Eventually, it becomes a thing. People from the corporate community start to notice. Not only do they come in as customers and or service providers, but many of their employees start to nose around to see how they’d fit in.
One thing that seems really appealing to someone from the outside of a startup community is “wearing a lot of hats”. People tend to desire optionality. They don’t like to be pegged to one role. They like to envision themselves as a jack of all trades and more importantly, they want to have diverse experiences. The startup experience seems like it could be that because everyone does everything.
There is a reason why everyone does everything in startups. They don’t have any resources.
If they had the resources, they’d organize differently. The truth is every day becomes a fight for survival. That can be totally exciting and an adrenalin rush but it can also be pretty defeating. That’s why they call it a “struggle” and the struggle is real.
Need money? You cannot go to a VC and ask for it everytime you need it. Every round of financing isn’t an up round. You need to find another way to climb the mountain. That’s a big demarcation between corporate life and startup life.
In corporate life, you go to war over budgeting of resources to make sure you are being allocated enough. In corporate life, if they cut your budget or change direction, you are out. If you don’t execute, you get shifted around. This is another reason why corporate VC might not be the best investment dollars but I digress.
In startup life, you don’t have the resources so you have to figure out how to do what you need to do without them. If you can figure it out, you survive to the next level. If you can’t, you die. If you can’t execute, you die.