Monday, September 21, 2015

The Startup Company: Where Dreams Become Poverty

Back when we were both trying to enter the workforce and become contributing members of society (ha!), before we became the wealthy, extravagant writers that we are today (ha! x2), we both applied to work at various tech-related startups.

If you're unfamiliar, a startup is like a regular business, except it doesn't have employees. Or money. But boy do they make it sound like fun to work there!






And it's the most bizarre business experience you can ever have. It's almost like stepping into another world. The startup office itself looks nothing like a regular office. Everything is brightly colored and covered in memes. People sit on couches and beanbags instead of chairs. They have things like video game stations and nap rooms and you can wear shorts and sandals to work.

It almost sounds fun, if it wasn't for the fact that your boss is invariably some walking pair of plaid shorts and flip flops named Brad who's armed to the teeth with empty promises and buzzwords galore.






Brad is full of hopes and dreams. And bullshit. Mostly bullshit. He thinks that his company will be the next Google, which is why currently he can only pay you $10 an hour to be his full time Senior Level Database Administrator... but, you know, it'll totally be worth it when his office of ten becomes a Fortune 500 Company reaping in millions and he can hook you up for being there since day one.

And it's okay, though, because a cool, modern startup has other perks. What it lacks in money and healthcare it more than makes up for in ping pong tables and foosball and air hockey. Working at a trendy startup company is basically like a grown-up version of recess.






But alas, not every young company can become Google, and all the parlor games and beanbag chair naps and flip-flop-wearing in the world can't make a company worth working at if you're getting paid McDonald's wages for high-level IT work.

The young, trendy startup company - it's fun as hell when it's successful, but it's really quite sad when it's not. We encountered plenty of the latter, and weren't willing to make next to nothing in the name of workplace ping pong. We figure if we're going to make a really crappy wage (like we are now), then at least we're going to be doing it with something we truly love, like writing.

Anyone else here worked for a trendy startup?

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
B&B

Music: Fallout 3 Soundtrack
Beer: Betty IPA




120 comments:

  1. My brother-in-law has worked for multiple start-ups. I've visited him at a few of his offices and there's a lot of standing desks now and some couldn't afford the ping-pong tables, so they instead have those mini-boxes of cereal everywhere. It has payed off for him in that he can afford to go work for another start-up for a full year without pay and still he can afford to live in San Francisco. Also, he has explained to me what he does and the companies he has worked for in great detail, and I have understood exactly zero of what he does or the companies that are getting bought out just for the patents.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ah yes, the standing desk. Because who wants to sit comfortably when you can enjoy the luxury of standing at a computer station 8 hours a day?

      I was wondering why he kept bouncing from startup to startup and then you said the magic word(s) - San Francisco, aka land of the failed startup.

      Delete
  2. I want a skee ball in our bathroom. Not at work, at home.
    Never worked for a start up company. Just established ones with boring cubicles. On the plus side, from above it looks like a maze game.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And on the plus side, you make a real wage to support your family. And you can afford to live in a house. And you probably have health insurance for when you get sick or injured or dead.

      Delete
  3. I never worked at a start up but I did work for a company that expected the moon and paid McDonald's wages. I literally could have worked at McDonald's and had less stress and BS to deal with. The only thing that kept me there for a year, was I like that I didn't work weekends and I was done by 4 every day.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't know - are the weekends worth enjoying if you don't have any money in which to enjoy them?

      "Well, Mom, we have the whole weekend off! Can we go to Six Flags?"
      "Uh, no, honey, we don't have enough money for that. I know, let's go to the park and throw rocks at squirrels!"

      Delete
    2. That was basically it. I left as soon as I got something else, they were actually surprised that people couldn't live on that.

      Delete
  4. I worked for a startup a long time ago (it was a dial up ISP) it was pretty much the same. It starts out as little money and tons of little perks, the the perks start to go away. All of the sudden you realize that all that is left of the free soda is generic diet lemon lime soda and all of your ping pong balls are dented. Then it's time to go.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Awful, isn't it? One company I worked for went from telling us we were all going to get huge bonuses, to telling us we weren't going to get any bonus at all, to giving us all a 20% pay cut. On Christmas. Merry Christmas, bitches!

      Delete
  5. Unfortunately there have been no start-ups for me. Though, I did just get a part-time job at a chain store that hasn't been opened yet, and boy-oh, do we feel all warm and fuzzy inside building the store from the bottom shelves up!

    I wouldn't mind joining a start-up if it paid a halfway decent wage, but unfortunately, I don't have too many skills to bring to the ping pong table.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Having been in IT for years, I can assure you that you are overly qualified for the job. Just based on the fact that you can spell correctly, can form a sentence, and possess at least a modicum of intelligence, anyway. I once worked with a guy who didn't know how to copy and paste. Like, he just didn't know it existed. He assumed you had to retype everything. Always.

      Don't believe the hype. Not all IT guys are geniuses.

      Delete
  6. Never worked for one (hey, I'm not even done studying yet, I still have plenty of time to make bad decisions), but read plenty a horror story. Most startups are pretty meh, but you can usually pretty easily filter out the "100% failure guaranteed" ones by looking for red flags, like shitty bosses, salesman-level promises and shaky terms. Also, hackathons with businessmen involved generally aren't great places unless you play things very, very carefully.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Huh, never applied for any that had a hackathon, but my wife recently applied for one with those salesman-like promises. They start you out as a contract employee rather than a regular employee, which pays less and has no benefits, just to see if you "fit" with the job, and then they "reevaluate" after 6 months so they can pay you like a rock star and give you awesome benefits. But guess what reevaluate means? Yeah, they just terminate the contract and get another employee to start a new contract. Apparently they thought my wife was too dumb to figure that out. She was not. She told them to go fuck themselves.

      Delete
  7. Can't say I've worked for a start up company. Unless you include the attorney I worked for who was just starting out. But we didn't have cool stuff, just lots of sitting around time while he chased ambulances. I never thought start ups were just like what I've seen on Silicon Valley but it sounds like they are - fun but zero pay. I'd rather have the money. Then I can afford to pay for my fun.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It really is like that, and this isn't even Silicon Valley. This is just Denver. Imagine what actual Silicon Valley is like. And yes, as mentioned above, fun is great, but I need money to have fun. Eating ramen noodles and playing solitaire in the dark because my electric bill went out - NOT FUN.

      Delete
  8. Brad has some nasty toenails! When my husband first opened his practice 20 years ago he didn't have one single patient, so he bought a bunch of empty files and put them on the shelves to make it look like he had some files on the shelf. Then when patients started calling, he would have them all come at the same time so there were a few people in the waiting room at the same time. He never had a ping pong table but he sure did play a lot of games on his computer in his down time. Aaaahhhh, the good ol' days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, we all have to start somewhere. That's pretty ingenious. Fake it till you make it!

      (We're big fans of that. Half of these comments are just people we hired to make us look this popular at 6 in the morning)

      Delete
  9. In the future, everyone on the internet will have one of your square happy faces for a profile pic.

    You should have a start-up where you just make those.

    I'm not sure how that could ever be profitable.

    Volume, probably.

    Or wait for Google to buy you.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Awesome idea! If it's on the Internet, it's profitable. That's just the way it goes. I mean, look at Angelfire and Geocities. Those places are probably worth millllllions.

      Delete
  10. When I started in the workforce, personal computers didn't exist and I.T. barely existed so no, I never worked for a start-up. I just worked for regular old-fashioned slavedrivers who worked me like a dog for starvation wages. What was that charming phrase that was used to justify "the system"? Oh, yes -- "paying your dues." Bastards, all of them.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's almost like people have always been getting shafted by companies for long hours and low wages, and are essentially holding us hostage because they know we need them just to survive. But that's crazy talk. Those commercials on TV always tell us how much these companies genuinely care about all of us (vomit).

      Delete
  11. I haven't worked for a start up myself. I didn't know that the trendy start up cliche was a thing. I should have known it was. Cliches become cliches for a reason. It does sound pretty fun but, working for such a small amount? I'd do it for a regular job but not a high ranking one like that. I'd be pretty happy to be working for $10 an hour. Apparently I'm really underselling myself.

    There are some good startup companies though. You just hear about all the ones that succeed which is the problem. Everyone thinks they can start and run a business straight from home with nothing but 10 dollars and a dream. Those kind of things only succeed for about one in ten thousand people, and those people that do succeed have something going for them. Typically the right location, or friends, or parents. Scotland is actually a very good place to run a start up company. I had to write an article about it for $5.

    Because I'm poor as fuck and will take any (writing) job.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Womp womp. You definitely undersell yourself. I know guys with the IQ of a lamp post making $10. Set that bar higher, my friend.

      And one thing they don't tell you about startups is that even if they do succeed, sometimes that success simply means buying out the company. So the startup owner gets a huge chunk of cash... and everybody else loses their jobs, because often, the huge corporation that bought them already has employees.

      Delete
  12. A workplace like that just creeps me out thinking about it, even with all those games around. There was one guy like Brad that worked at my husband's company and they put him in charge of marketing. He was all buzzwords, full of positive talk, and little action. My husband nicknamed him Hashtag and it stuck. Even the bosses called the guy that! Hashtag was later fired and tried to make his own start up company.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. #fail #hype #swag?

      What a fantastic nickname for a not-fantastic-at-all guy. Our Brad was simply called Troll Doll. Sure, it's not overly creative, but when the guy is 5'5, 200 lbs, and has a huge Jersey Shore haircut that looks like he superglued a broom to his receding hairline, well, the names just kinda write themselves.

      Delete
    2. I've never heard of these other than on TV series, these are actually real?

      Delete
    3. These are really really real, Fran. The ideas had to come from somewhere, right?

      Delete
  13. I nearly spewed my coffee over the skee ball line :)
    I miss y'all so much I may come visit every week, but don't tell anyone else.
    It'll be our secret.
    Ssshhhhh.....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey, nice to see you again! Your secret is safe with us. Well, until we start drinking. Then it's not safe at all. But it's sweet of you to trust us with any form of responsibility.

      Delete
  14. I've seen plenty and even got propositioned for a few, felt like they were trying to get me to whore myself out or something lol and they always use stupid things like "Our company is poised to blah blah like Company A, they make $50K a year with little work, you could make $100K." When they start throwing around big crap like that, pffft.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ah, is there anything better than hearing you COULD make $100k? Yes, it's true, I COULD. Anyone COULD. But if you're not paying me that, then fuck off with your empty promises.

      Delete
  15. B&B:
    It's refreshing to know there are guys like you (two) who take the time to allow US the opportunity to see some of the citizens of WEIRDSVILLE out there (and be able to flee in terror from them)...LOL!

    Sure make selling encyclopedias door-to-door (in areas where the average IQ is still in double-digits) seem tame by comparison.
    (trust me, I did THAT job for ONE day...once...just once)

    Sure glad you fellows found your way OUT of that fiasco.
    Ever consider a "primer" on the foibles of seeking such "employment"?
    (As Blackbeard might say - "scary shit it surely be..arrgghhh")
    Great post as usual.
    Stay safe out there.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's funny because some of these startups really aren't any different than those door-to-door gigs. "You could be making a TON of money... you just need to work really hard, prove yourself to us, and sign 20 new people. Then those 20 people just sign 20 new people, and..."

      Okay stop, stop, this is pretty much just a pyramid scheme.

      Delete
  16. We didn't have trendy startups back in the day, but we did have lots of crappy restaurants with conditions similar to the slave ships of the 1830's (Amistad). At least that's what it felt like at the time. You would be paid a low salary for a forty hour week, but be expected to put in closer to 100 hours. I lost 25 pounds in 4 months working in a restaurant (I didn't have it to lose at that time) and couldn't eat a pancake for five years afterward and I love pancakes. I watched marriages disintegrate and when I got a day off I finally decided to run away fast.
    And then there was the pallet factory turning trees into wood pallets and someone getting nailed to a pallet by their hands every few days. The owner kept rottweilers chained up outside and still walked with a goose step. I lasted two weeks. At least we got high at lunch time to help cope.
    I love ping pong.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Are you sure it wasn't just a slave ship, where the slave drivers forced people to make pancakes? That sounds miserable. I would have run for the hills, too. I'm a big fan of running away from awful things - jobs, women, situations. You name it, I'll run from it.

      Delete
  17. Sounds weird to me. So some of these companies do make it, but.... It's amazing what people think of which does work and one says "why didn't I think of that".

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    1. The ones that succeed seem to be the ones that have a unique idea. It doesn't have to be a good idea, just unique. The rest just get caught up in the same good idea of the moment and drown. Blub blub.

      Delete
  18. Some of them do make it. But the ones who act professional at the start are the ones who generally do. Then should come the games when they've made it big.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Work first, then games? But I'm a manchild. I want games NOW.

      Delete
  19. At least the skeeball toilet made peeing fun - right? Oy vey.
    Being a non-techy, I haven't had such glorious opportunities. It does remind me of all the ads I've seen over the years though to the effect of "Help me to written best ceiling book eva. My storie is unbelivavle an I cannut afard two pay butt you get a largg persent sails."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If I had a dollar for every person that told me their life was interesting enough to be a best seller I'd have enough money to hire a ghostwriter and write my own best seller. I'm really interesting. Much more interesting than those other mooks.

      Delete
  20. I like your definition of 'start-up' which I never really understood before. I agree with you, if you're going to work for slave wages may as well be for yourself.

    Susan Says

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    1. I'm a big fan of working for myself. Sure, my boss is an asshole, but at least the low pay is justified.

      Delete
  21. Well not having IT experience, no I haven't ever worked in such an 'elevated' environment, but I can relate it to art school where we had a class called Games (live, not computer generated and not team related) - we went out and experienced different things in the community (such as a Tactile environment at a local university-a totally dark tunnel where you moved through it in total darkness using feel only, a synergistic dance company - there's that word, visiting the prof's home to act like the artists' version of the Paris cafe scene during the art renaissance , etc.) It was New Think and supposed to 'free' our minds to new levels. It was fun, but productive - not so much...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Kid you not, at one of these startups they took an afternoon off to do company wide finger painting, for uhh creative expression or whatever. Last time I checked that was called preschool.

      Delete
  22. I never did that. I had a glamorous job at a bakery. But hey, you did and have great stories to share because of it. There is an upside. lol

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    1. All the bread and cakes and brownies you can eat? What a gluten filled paradise of jobs. I bet that has its own array of great stories.

      Delete
  23. Oh my-I have never worked at a start up company-thank God! What's funny is a few years ago i watched one of those makeover shows-new paint on the walls...that sort of thing and it was one of the start up companies. They were 20 something year olds who wanted their bikes on the walls and wanted exactly those bean bag chairs. They were spending all this money to look good that they forgot the primary rule to be in business at least 5 years to see if they will even break even. I was laughing and thinking they will say bye bye to their company within 1 1/2 years

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    1. Well, who needs financial stability when you can have a cool looking office? Those bean bag chairs make great beds when you can't afford your rent anymore.

      Delete
  24. This post is hilariously sad and all too true. The 'Start-Up' company is much like the MLM world of fast money, little work, and a lot of fooling around. Unfortunately, all they do is hype you up, take your money, while you work and they bosses fool around, "The old adage of fool me one, shame on you, fool me twice...well, you know the rest. These folks operate on the premise that there is a sucker born every day, and I guess they're right. Been there and done that, but only once. Ha, ha, ha!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was only there once, but they started off paying well (optimism!). No, they just started taking things away. No bonus. No more insurance now. Now a 20% pay cut. I got the fuck out of Dodge before they could start cutting off limbs.

      Delete
  25. Oh, that silly little Bradley! Who let him out of his playpen? I hope he gets a good nap today, or he'll just be a real stinker for that big board meeting this afternoon! (And by "board meeting," I mean "dart tournament.")

    Brad: "NO!!! NO!!! You did NOT win! I'm the winner! I'm always the winner! Mommy told me I'm the winner!!!!" (Insert epic temper tantrum here.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Last week Brad came in second place at the Synerjizztech weekly conference call* and hasn't stopped crying about it ever since.

      *Marco Polo

      Delete
  26. LOL nope, never worked a Start-Up company . . . but I might if the girl's bathroom had collection of makeup and shoes. I'd go to hang around and write. Might as well put that in there and come out with the same pay o_O

    ReplyDelete
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    1. One of the best things about a mundane office job was the ability to write almost all day long. Also, so much Facebook. And free coffee. Oh and I guess I worked sometimes too. If I had to.

      Delete
  27. My first hubs and I owned a TV sales and repair shop. Fun working for yourself, not so fun every three months at tax time. or when begging for customers to buy an expensive TV so you can pay the rent with the floor money and hope another one sells in time to pay the finance company, and and and . . .

    See, that's why I don't complain -too much- about the office job. All ya gotta do is not get fired and somebody else pays all those annoying expenses. Easy money, right?

    I'll let you know when this writing self employment pays even the electricity bill to run the lap top :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. At one point the wife wanted to see what it would take to open a franchise. You know, save up money and run a self-sustaining business with a huge name behind it. Seems like a slam dunk, right? Turns out, after much research, that you really can't make any money that way. Not unless you have a chain of franchises. The moral of the story? Owning your own business sucks. No thanks.

      Delete
  28. I can see the appeal for the newly graduated college student. A start up would feel an awful lot like the frat house at college. Why grow up if you don't have to? Who wants to work somewhere without ping pong? And college students are used to living off ramen noodles. BUT, those student loans. Who is going to pay those? The bill collectors don't collect in video games or naps.

    I read the above comments. If Meli hasn't found a job yet (a real job, not a start up) I hope she does. After all, the jungle cat is HUNGRY.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. She has not yet found another job, but it's okay because the jungle cat doesn't eat much. Mostly doorstoppers and lint.

      And school loans are awesome. I'll be paying mine off until I'm in my 40s. Yaaaay. Totally worth it.

      Delete
  29. No start ups for me. Too much like playing the lottery.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. But the lottery has some pretty good odds. 0.000001 percent of the time you win every time.

      Delete
  30. I'm from Iowa. We don't do cool things like start-ups. Though the guy who made Pinterest is from here, but that is a fluke.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I bet he was just trying to think of a new, innovative way to grow corn and accidentally created a major social network instead. Whoops!

      Delete
  31. I hate scams like these. I got deceived by a research group that cost me 868 articles. Then the virus they threw my way devastated my computer. It's locked up in a hard drive I can't get access to yet. A friend of mine thinks he can help me retrieve the data.

    Sad story guys - glad you got out!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paid in viruses? That's about the worst thing I've ever heard. Neither of our experiences was ever that bad. Just douche-potatoes in flip-flops that thought business was nothing more than bro-ing around on Facebook all day. Sorry to hear that happened - that sucks!

      Delete
  32. I've never really understood what a start up company is. I still don't understand after reading this (execpt that it seems to involve pining in hopes of being bought out by Google). I'm guessing that's how you felt working there.

    Loving the money carrot though.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Okay, my friend, let me tell you exactly what a start up is. It's not a job. It's an opportunity. We don't work here. We make the world a better, brighter place. And that's exactly what this company is and what your job will be.

      -Brad

      Delete
  33. I have worked at a start up. I offered my management experience to the young owner and he jumped at that. Unfortunately he didn't follow through on anything and the 6 employees continued to do whatever the f**k they wanted. Clients kept dropping like flies and he couldn't figure out why! Dumbass!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Psssh, this lady knows nothing about running a business. Why should I listen to her? I'm gonna crush the market and bring in the clients like mad.

      -Guy that just got out of high school and knows nothing about the real world/actual business politics

      Delete
  34. There may not be a salary but there's no appraisal process and objective setting. A big big plus :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Also free coffee. So much free coffee. All the Folgers you can drink!

      Delete
  35. Did you ever work for a startup and quit and then the startup actually made a metric fuck ton of money and you considered killing yourself? I've never worked for a startup except Janie Junebug Writing & Editing. Janie is a pretty good boss. We take some naps, but we get shit done. We like the doggy atmosphere. The chair is comfortable. The kitchen isn't all that well stocked, but we can go to the neighborhood diner for lunch. Nice TV in the office, which doubles as a break room. Frequent and enjoyable sex. Yeah. I think I'll keep my job here.

    Love,
    Not Janie Junebug But Somebody Who Works For Her

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually the one brief startup that I worked for went under so hard that even the president went broke. And at one point he had been worth almost about a million, I believe? Maybe two?

      I wish my office had frequent sex. But it's at home, so no chance of that. Lots of quality time spent in underwear, though, working on writing.

      Delete
  36. It almost seems like you were a babysitter with a fancy title.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm pretty sure even yuppie babysitters make more than $10 an hour. Also Brad doesn't strike me as being particularly potty trained.

      Delete
  37. The company I work for is not quite a startup, having been around eight years, but is pretty informal and unstructured

    Having worked since 1984 in larger organizations (Big 8 CPA firm and a major insurance company), I see benefits to both. A lot of structure in the more established business, with the possibility of more security (you probably never have to worry about them making payroll, although they could can you any time).

    With the newer business, cash flow is always a concern, although I do not think a big worry,. but the flexibility is (to me) a huge benefit. I can work from home a lot (2-3 days per week), when I am in the office can dress as casual as I want (shorts, Todd Rundgren tee shirts in the summer, jeans all winter).

    Our founder is somewhat of a hippie-he goes to Burning Man every year-and so there are a lot of new age touches to the organization, but there is also a lot of respect for the employee as an individual, something that corporate America does not have the luxury for.

    It sounds like your experience was with an entrepreneur who was a stranger, where I've known the founder of this company since back when they played music on MTV, and I understood their product. Plus they matched my current salary. And I went from working eighty hour weeks to, as my boss put it "we try not to work 40 if we can help it."

    Much different experience for me-I hope to ride it out another 11 years and never tie a tie again!

    Larry

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    1. It sounds like you are truly living the dream. I would have loved to have worked at a startup like that. Unfortunately the one I worked for briefly was the exact opposite. Strict dress code, 80 hour weeks, and no cash flow, so what little we made in salary was constantly slashed. BUT WE HAVE A PING PONG TABLE YOU GUYS SO IT'S STILL SO MUCH FUN TO BE HERE.

      Delete
    2. Of course, today I had to wear a tie (going to a client office)...I had to google "windsor Knot"

      Delete
  38. I haven't worked at a start up (yet), maybe because I'm on the dull old-school east coast. I have a standing desk though, so I'm pretty hip and whatnot.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Be honest - do you really have a standing desk or can your company just not afford chairs?

      Delete
  39. CRAP! Sigh... I guess I better go to work tomorrow after all...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ping pong tables are remarkably easy to build, if that's what's holding you up. The startup - it's not a job, it's a lifestyle!

      Delete
  40. I've only worked for 3 places, none of them have been startups. In fact all 3's founders had passed away by the time I worked for them

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That doesn't necessarily mean much if the founder had a nasty heroin habit.

      "R.I.P. Brad, 1991 - 2015. Died doing what he loved, 12 oz of sweet Mexican black tar heroin."

      Delete
  41. I haven't worked in a start up company, but it's been a while since I visited your blog and i was missing your humor so I wanted to just stop by, read, laugh and say hi.

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    1. Well hello again to our second favorite Melissa*! Nice to see you!

      *the number one Melissa is my wife, which I'm sure you will see takes automatic precedence

      Delete
  42. I can always count on a fill-up on funny when I drop by here, thanks!

    Once worked for a start-up.... it sold for a few million. Still didn't benefit from it.

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    1. Ha! Yes, that's another great element of the startup that they don't tell you about.

      Brad: "Guys, guess what! We got bought up by a huge company for millions of dollars!"
      Everyone: "Yaaaay!"
      Brad: "So... ummm, they already have their own employees. Which also means you're all fired."
      Everyone: ...
      Brad: "BUT, BUT... I totally made millions on this. Wait, why is no one cheering anymore?"

      Delete
  43. Omg. This was just hilarious! And so much reality! Wow. I have a friend who works at a start up. And the work load seems pretty crazy too! Start ups are so understaffed! Was this where your boss fired your entire department and made you do all that work and never gave you a bonus?

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    1. Ha, good memory! Yes, this was the place. It was an office of about 20 people to start. We got "the speech" about how we were going to take off and get bonuses beyond our wildest dreams and huge raises. Then, after we didn't take off, at all, they fired my entire department and made me do the work of 6 people (plus other layoffs) because apparently I was the best one there. At that point there was about 10 of us left. We got a 20% pay cut, no bonus, and worked mandatory overtime to make up for lost manpower (no overtime pay, either, because we were salary). I jumped ship to become a full time writer, and soon after the company was bought out by another company. The kicker, of course, is that the big company just wanted the lame startup for one old piece of technology that they wanted to call their own. So they fired everyone else and just took the product.

      I mean, isn't that awesome? It's like buying an orphanage, throwing all the kids out on the street, and taking its refrigerator. Then you burn down the building, and tell the orphans to fuck off, because all you wanted was the fridge to hold your beer.

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    2. That is a huge risk anytime you get acquired (my old company is massive, and are getting acquired, and my old co-workers are all worried, although for companies that size the axe can take a few years to fall).

      I worry a little at the current position, but the tradeoff of the 80 hour weeks for the risk that I might have to look for a job again but actually work a normal week was well worth it to me.

      Usually the infrastructures of both companies have a lot of redundancy, and sometimes it takes the same amount of manpower to do things (almost) regardless of volume (accounting, which is my profession, is a good example).

      Of course, when you get past words like "infrastructure" and "regardless of volume," i get that you have real people losing their jobs, and that sucks.

      On the one hand, it's business, not personal.

      But when you're put out on the street, it's personal.

      That's why if you're working those 80 hour weeks, you better be getting something out of it. My old employer demanded a lot, but they always treated me well and I have no complaints-it was just time for a change. But to ask that kind of effort from someone, give them nothing, and then make millions and leave them on the street?

      That sucks.

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  44. Start up companies can be interesting. That bathroom sounds pretty cool, though! ;0)

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    1. I don't know if I'd want to play ping pong in the bathroom, though. Too many ping pong balls flying off into toilets.

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  45. *sigh* I've got a feeling the music site I'm writing and editing for where I'm not getting paid, but through private message I'll definitely be one of the few who gets paid once money rolls in, is just... something like this. It's bumming me out because I guess I got duped, but at least I got a little experience? *sigh* I dunno.

    In either case, I'd dig a skee ball table in the bathroom. Though, strictly for playing purposes.

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    1. I don't want to piss in your cornflakes but I highly doubt they'll ever give you a penny. I don't believe the owner's even made a single penny. You're not alone. We got into writing for magazines like that before too. The problem is they actually need to make money first. Your friend's music site has 10 Twitter followers, the only comments on the site come from you, and their YouTube uploads have something like 3-4 views. Something with that barren of traffic is not going to be making money. At least you're realizing that for yourself now. And like you said, it doesn't hurt to have on your writing resume anyway.

      On a brighter note, skee ball tables aren't overly expensive, and they truly complement any writing room. Throw in an air hockey table for a truly non-productive time with your spouse or loved one (when you should be writing). :)

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    2. Well, the comments are from one of the other writer's friends, but yeah. I get what you're saying. I have no idea how to go about quitting. I don't imagine she'll make it easy on me. *sigh* one of the problems I've noticed since day one is that there's literally no emphasis on marketing. It's like, how exactly are people supposed to find the site if the Twitter is barren? No focus and the blog is just so unorganized :/

      I've never priced them! Maybe I should.. that non-productive time is truly valued by my other and me :)
      (Yes, I know I should be writing!)

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    3. That sucks. And it's crazy. I mean, my loony aunt that just posts those lame captioned Minions pictures has more Twitter followers. And she's a 62 year old woman that doesn't even fully understand the Internet. That site looks cool as fuck, and very professional, but to deliberately not market it at all means it's the coolest site that no one will ever see. It's hard, but sometimes you just have to say "I can't keep screaming out into the void if no one's making us be heard."

      Or, you know, you can tell her you just installed an air hockey table in your writing room and you're a little busy at the moment. Tell her with a cheesy Minion meme. People love those (apparently).

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    4. Haha about your aunt! People love those stupid minions. I have around 600 followers on Twitter and most of them are real. I have no idea how I managed that so I'm not saying I'm the best at marketing and such, but I try. With her website it's like.. I'm writing articles for no one. The only time they ever get views are when I post them on my blog -.-

      I could probably get away with that haha :)

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  46. WTH?! WTF?!
    Look how late I am getting here! I've NEVER been this late.

    Well, what with the drinkin' an' all. And the BOTB Results posts. And the full-time job. And what with the drinkin' an' all...

    I have NEVER worked for a trendy startup.
    All of my employment has been with old school stopdowns.
    Same wages though.

    Loved the "dangling karat". And "Brad" was the perfect name! Those idiots REALLY ARE all named Brad, they ALL have blonde hair, and they ALL look just like your Brad here. (Except I think once or twice there was a Chad, rather than Brad. But all "Chads" should "hang". Brads too!)

    "100 POINTS"?!
    Damn! You were a real "wiz kid"!
    (I haven't read any of the other comments yet. I hope no one else beat me to that line.)

    I heard "Betty IPA" had a sex change, became known as "Bernard WTH", then changed back again and is now known as "Bertha WTF". But then what the IPA do I know? I'm always "a day late and a gender short".

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. We had a mutual friend named Chad (key word had) and he was very much a Brad. The only thing he's missing is the blonde hair. Also, don't call him Chad. His name is Chadron and if you call Chadron Chad he will berate the hell out of you.

      Also, Betty IPA may be a very curvaceous woman with a stunning blue dress and sexy red heels and long blonde hair and also she may be a cartoon but don't you DARE attempt to define her gender, bro. She could be a male, or anything in between, all 47 different options of in between to be exact. And to assume she's a woman is offensive to me as a straight man who chooses not to define his own gender and sexuality.

      Sincerely,
      Brad

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  47. I never worked for a startup company. Sounds like there are a lot out there trying to be the next Facebook or Google. As a matter of fact, I'm sure there are because this new generation is considered the "Entrepreneur" generation. There aren't enough sharks to invest in their companies. I'll stick to making little money with my writing.

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    1. I can't speak for the generation as a whole but I know so many people in our age range that just want to be an entrepreneur so badly. It's like they want to work toward not working... and then end up working harder than they would have if they had just gotten a regular job, all the while making less money for doing it.

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  48. So, this start-up concept...any chance I could hire a few techies of my own? I have a ping pong table.

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    1. For what college kids seem to be willing to be paid, I bet you could get a full running IT service in your house for pennies on the dollar.

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  49. LOL! Yeah, my hubby has seen the inside of a few of those places, then turned and walked back out.

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    1. I take it he's not big on ping pong or flip-flops.

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  50. Can't say I have ever tried that. I also can't say there is anything remotely trendy going on in Michigan!

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    1. Don't tell me you don't come back from a fishing/hunting excursion and celebrate with a trip to the oxygen bar followed by the gluten free vegan cupcake shop.

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  51. I've never worked for a start-up company...just the words "start-up" send out a warning. I guess it is just wise advise to do a bit of research on these so-called start-up opportunities before you invest any time, money or energy into the project.

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    1. ps - why would anyone want one of those stand up desks...no thanks...

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    2. It's a pretty well known fact that it's not good to sit down at a computer 8 hours a day, but I find a simple remedy for that is called get up every once in a while and walk around. And I find that that works so, so much better than standing all day long. :)

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    3. I usually just go for a walk on my lunch break...

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  52. That's why the Knight told Indy to choose wisely. Hoping for Google to buy you is like telling your $10 an hour pingpong executives you've got a shot at winning the lottery.

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    1. Wow, I never thought my crazy, alcoholic Uncle Bob and CEO Brad would have something in common; they both are naively convinced they're going to win the lottery one day.

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    2. Hey you never know - a dollar and a dream...lol...

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    3. All you need is a buck and a truckload of luck.

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  53. I never did, but I was a reporter when this was all trendy and shit and lots of my coworkers jumped ship because they were bedazzled. I just couldn't write the crap that those jobs demanded without crying myself to sleep at night.

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    1. Let me guess, Buzzfeed? "We want you to write a hard hitting, investigative article... and it's called Ten Cats That Totally Are Your Soul Mate."

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  54. The first door-knocking company I worked for, I followed my team leader to the briefing room and as we were walking up the corridor, he said "Now there's one secret to a good sales career..." We turned the corner and entered the room, which was completely empty barring some stacked-up phone books on the far wall, a whiteboard on the near wall and a ping pong table in the corner. "...And that's a mean game of ping pong."

    We played, I beat him, that was the best thing that happened during my time there.

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    1. I bet there's a 12 year old boy somewhere who's a ping pong champion that's just now preparing to make the leap into sales.

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