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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?