What I’ve Learned as an Early Employee at a Startup

  1. Don’t work for any company with a single founder.
  2. Interview your C.E.O. Call references. Talk to their clients. See if they’re worth working for.
  3. Get feedback from as many people as possible before committing to your venture. Weigh out the pros and cons.
  4. If you can’t trust your C.E.O., then there is no future for you in the company.
  5. 5% of equity in a company that does $0 in business and can’t stay focused on a strategy to penetrate the market is still $0.
  6. $50,000 in capital burns a lot quicker than anyone would expect. Errors will be made, which cost money. Budgets will be overlooked and the margin for error is so slim, any one thing could set you back.
  7. Moving targets destroy any and all chances of success, unless handled correctly.
  8. If you’re invaluable to the company, then the company probably doesn’t have a solid executive team or foundation to grow upon.
  9. Your word is your bond. Your reputation is everything. If the company ethics doesn’t align to your own, then there is no future.

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.


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