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A Pessimistic Approach to Surviving the Startup Environment

Can an Educated, Experienced, Creative Professional (EECP) Survive in a High-Tech Startup?

No.

There are, however, a few simple rules that, if carefully followed, could extend your stay, and may even help you win some temporary recognition from your managers and colleagues.

Rule 1 Never expect recognition for anything truly significant.

Typical startup managers have no clue as to how to distinguish major accomplishments. More accurately, the only kind of progress they consider significant is the kind that immediately generates an incoming flood of money (and a bonus). Your technical proposals and results, however convincing they may look to real professionals, look unclear and suspicious to management. It’s not malice, they simply have no way to evaluate the content (due to technical incompetence) or assess its significance (due to lack of vision). As a result, only minor, obvious, and non-critical accomplishments get recognized. Any time you propose something new, unusual, or–Heaven forbid!–a breakthrough, managers (and colleagues) will get confused. In this state of non-comprehension, their fear-of-competition reflex will kick in and you will be at risk of being sidelined, silenced, and/or removed. » Continue reading “A Pessimistic Approach to Surviving the Startup Environment”

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