Choosing A Company

How do you decide or discover which company to join?

  • If you have a company in mind, apply there

  • If you not, then you have a discovery problem.

    • Look for a rocketship company

    • Look at job boards

    • Talk to recruiting agencies to shop your resume around

Which Company?

In general:

  • Join a rocket ship company

Eric Schmidt (as CEO of Google) to Sheryl Sandberg when deciding to join Google, and now COO of Facebook:

'If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, get on, don't ask what seat.' I tell people in their careers, ‘look for growth.’ Look for the teams that are growing quickly. Look for the companies that are doing well. Look for a place where you feel that you can have a lot of impact.”


I'm interested in companies with products I use, so I reached out to:

As you will be someone who is going through the job application process, you could focus on companies.

Company Qualities

Rocketship Companies


  • Should be able to make amazing financial returns

  • You will get more credit for just being there at the right time

  • You can get lost in the growth


  • Rapid growth, could mean a lot of disorganization

  • You can get lost in the growth


  • Large companies can also have rocketship growth

    • Example: Amazon

    • Some teams may have rocketship growth, some teams not

    • Established teams, most likely will not have rocketship growth

    • New teams may have rocketship growth, looking to prove themselves

Lifestyle Company:


  • Potentially more comfortable pace


  • Don't expect rapid growth

Size: Small, Angel, Seed


  • You can contribute to other areas of outside of your domain

  • Room for larger impact across the organization

  • Easier to find meaning from your work

  • Potentially high reward, also high risk


  • Don't expect much mentorship, or good mentorship

    • Unless the other people in your team have experience as well

  • High risk, potentially high reward

  • Most likely a Cowboy organization

Large: Series C+, Public


  • Large number of people you can potentially learn from

  • Low risk, good pay

  • FAANGs

    • Mature organizations


  • Just another cog in the wheel

  • Glorified engineer

  • Can be paid well for doing "non impactful" things

  • Have to find meaning from it

  • Different teams can have different cultures

    • Established teams may not have rocketship growth.

From ex Facebook Software Engineer:

The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.

Evaluating Companies

  • How much risk are you willing to take?

  • What is the company culture?

    • Do they have a work from home policy?

    • Do they allow anyone to take vacation?

  • Who/what will you be learning at the company?

  • Who is going to mentor you?

  • What is the company's expectation of you?

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