Eventually I was spending a solid quarter of my time running interference between the founder and pretty much every other team member, and when he eventually fired me over our disagreements (there was nobody to run interference between him and I, when it came to that) the rest of the team quit within a month. Solo, first time founders are a big red flag to me now.
Do you consider this sizeable? I certainly would, and this will happen even if you have all the standard mechanisms in place!
It's a decent assumption that all successful, unpurchased startups take at least 3 years to hit it big. Given that, you could reasonably put a founder cliff at 2 years (with early vesting on buyout) as a show of faith.
Of course, the other argument is that if a founder leaves with 12.5% of your company something else is terribly wrong regardless.
I'm also now a solo-ish founder and I only have technical/team management experience, so I'm learning too :)
Create a safe space for quiet negative feedback or misgivings. Avoid shooting messengers.
Delegate, then trust the people you've delegated to.
Have a plan, then stick to it. Changes in the plan must be communicated.
Healthcare for my husband and I would be $700-1000 a month. If we had a child, it would be closer to $1500 a month. Husband works at an early startup and doesn't have healthcare. ($1500 * 12) / (1 - 0.4) = $30k of extra income I would need to break even.
I cannot just buy Aetna insurance (in NY) because they don't sell individual plans. I'm not convinced that my other choices are good coverage (Oscar, NYS MetroPlus, etc).
Someday, we'll start a family and I want the best coverage possible.
They forced me on several occasions to pass by qualified candidates for unqualified ones in the name of "diversity".
They were constantly complaining about how they weren't taken seriously by other founders, but then proceeded to schedule interviews with forbes about "Mom's in tech" and "running a startup from their kitchen".
They unilaterally decided to remove all males from the platform (a child care service), because some customers had the impression that a male child care provider was more likely to molest their child.
At the end of the day I ended up leaving, and the rest of the tech team within about a month. They replaced us with the tech team from a recently folded competitor, which was led by another "mom". Last I heard they were floundering and are somewhat of a laughing stock in the LA startup community, and have a reputation with recruiters as a dead end.
We would all love to get to the point where it isn't a noteworthy discussion, but for now allot of people need the SEO of women in tech so they can find something relatable
That may not be in the spirit of the question, but I've found that the best way of finding a culture & mission which really matches what I want/need from a job is to create it.
I'd be amazed to find this at a startup - I find that it's usually the opposite. It's impossible to focus in an open-plan with dogs running around, music blaring, and people swilling beer, so everyone has to work 10-12 hours to get 4-6 hours of work done.
I'm also surprised there's no mention of rape/abuse culture as it relates to the startup culture of "drinks, bro!": https://annelibby.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/beer/
> What could be more enticing than the insightful conversation being had by 50 drunk introverts telling "that's what she said" jokes?
I feel like this is not related to alcohol at this point. I never see this at our drinking outings, but I have seen lots of this in, for example, gamer culture. Maybe there's a similar tech subculture that is expressed this way, and alcohol makes it worse.
Not that I like beer nights, but I dislike one sided blaming.
Besides, if people want to have beer nights, why shouldn't they have them? Maybe my main motivation to start my own company is that I get to have beer nights. Why shouldn't I be allowed to create company with a work atmosphere I like?
> Besides, if people want to have beer nights, why shouldn't they have them?
They might unknowingly (or worse, knowingly) employ:
- recovering alcoholics
- people with religious restrictions
- people that were abused by someone under the influence of alcohol
- people that were abused whilst under the influence of alcohol
- people that just don't like alcohol
- people that want to actually go home after work (drinking is not work unless you're a beer taster)
Yes, you can make these outings "optional", but then it's all "we missed you last night!" and "you should come out next time!" guilting-type social pressure. There's no need for that in the workplace, so let's stick to building great things! Go drink with your bros, no one minds if you do that!
I actually decided I was drinking too much at that job so when I quit I took a break from drinking. One of the jobs I interviewed with had their happy hour as part of the interview! It's an insane "culture fit" test because of the many valid reasons you mentioned people might not be comfortable with it.
Like you said, people can go drink with their bros. Good not to tie your social life to work anyway so you can leave without losing all your friends.
I think putting beer out for an hour or two at an event and having a culture of 1-2 drinks sporadically is fine. But I'm avoiding any employers with a keg in their office, beer in the fridge every day, a happy hour culture etc.
Well, not everyone can drink alcohol. Not everyone's comfortable drinking alcohol. But "drinking nights" are fine.
Segueing the topic of beer nights to a discussion of rape(?) culture makes it seem like you're unnecessarily trying to find a way to be offended.
These nights might help an overworked team relax and coworkers have another chance in the week to interact. And guilting-type social pressure is always going to happen at a workplace, whether it's an optional team outing to a park or a beer night. It's up to you to handle these trivial social issues, not the management.
Some women are understandably less comfortable around drunk people because drunk men are more likely to be creepy and potentially abusive. Some, of course, are not. I'm a male and I'm less comfortable around drunk people, because drunk people tend to be in bars, which are usually not comfortable - they're dark and loud (why don't we have afternoon tea outings?).
I don't have any hard citations for this, it's just from various exasperated women in the tech industry that I've read on Twitter. Here's this, though: https://medium.com/@betsythemuffin/drinkups-are-rape-culture...
The best course of action when someone is inappropriate during a team outing or beer night or whatever is to inform them privately and/or talk to management/HR. I understand that drinking can lead to these situations but treating every male as a potential abuser is not only alarmist but sexist.
I understand that many (both females and males) could be bothered by this, but the Medium article you posted draws similarities between someone egging a person to drink to an abuser coercing someone to give oral sex. I get what she's trying to say, but it seems like a bit of an stretch in an attempt to get people incited.
- Talented employees
- Good product
- Interesting problems
- No corporate hierarchy/org nonsense
- Liberal policies ("no, you don't have to ask your manager about PTO for a doctor's appointment or whatever, of course not")
But without all of the other negatives (distracting environment, asking employees to give up their nights for outings, etc.).
For example, my company has a giant beer fridge. We also have uncomfortable chairs and flimsy, wobbling desks, and a rattly old air conditioner. We don't have dual monitors. The beer fridge does not improve productivity in any meaningful way. The other things harm it. Yet, we still spend money on the beer fridge instead of improving out environment, because #startup #crushing, or whatever.
Sure, Andrew Mason caught flack for drinking at a meeting while addressing employees and investors as CEO of Groupon and sure there have been various dramas and culture clashes at other unicorns. But you know what? The default outcome of startups is failure, and Groupon, Github and others got to be multi-billion dollar companies in a short span of time. In Groupon's case, there was even a moose head that would appear on the screens as an alert that there was an unscheduled opening of the bar right in the main shared office at their Palo Alto campus.
I say, let a thousand company cultures form. Some will be run by Mormons and have strict rules about even having alcohol on the premises and others will be run by Japanese and practically require that you go drinking with the team (and maybe even karaoke). As long as it's a free labor market, people will find and stay at the places they find most comfortable.
>"Yes, you can make these outings "optional", but then it's all "we missed you last night!" and "you should come out next time!" guilting-type social pressure. There's no need for that in the workplace, so let's stick to building great things! Go drink with your bros, no one minds if you do that!"
This is needlessly ethnocentric and linked to your own assumptions about employees wanting to drink with "bros" rather than the people they spend most their waking days with.
>"Well, if your main motivation for starting a company is having beer nights, seems like the company you should start is a bar."
I would counter that if your main motivation is preventing your coworkers from going out for a drink after work, then perhaps you should try living in a theocratic country that would take care of policing your coworkers' lifestyles for you.
If you want cultural diversity, startups aren't a good place to find it.
That doesn't make sense - you would be working at the times you want to be drinking and socialising with your colleagues.
Therefore I am more in favor of diversity of company cultures. That makes it more likely for any given individual to find a matching company they like.
What you'd rather see is a world that doesn't exist yet. I'd like to see it too. :)
I believe the sentiment the Parent post is trying to get at, is that by constructing more walled gardens which are "women only" or "for women", such as women only conferences, or women only talks, women only groups, etc... it actually has the opposite of the intended effect. It's a self-induced form of segregation and therefore discrimination - and serves only to make the inherent segregation stand out as being perceived as "normal". By putting one group "first", you inherently put another group "second".
I think it's safe to say majority of men would love to have more women in the industry.
In an ideal world, the title of this series is "Ask an Engineer", and it would just so happen that a woman wrote the post. Being a woman doesn't somehow qualify the article author in any way to discuss startups - having started a startup or working for one, does. Nobody would think anything of it so long as the information was well presented, and it certainly wouldn't attract all the negative attention this thread has started off with.
If it were titled "Ask an engineer" and all the people asked were women, I wonder what the response would be? I ask that without any snark or presupposition, I'm not sure and I'm curious.
Well, it should be (and I assert would be) considered "normal" because women can be engineers too (obviously).
By putting the "woman" qualifier in the title, it immediately discriminates against half of the viewership... which is particularly infuriating because the information is good and valid, regardless of who's telling it.
Does that not make my point even better?
Sure, all men should be interested in hearing a woman's perspective on being in the engineering field, but if we're honest with ourselves, most likely skipped right over this thread after reading the title.
To be even more honest with ourselves, we must admit if the title was "Ask a Male Engineer", most women would skip the article as well. It's simply because you either belong to the mentioned group or you do not... some will be curious enough to read anyway, but the rest... it just serves to alienate.
This thread largely turned into a flame war instead of commenting on the content of the post... all because of a word in the title.
...you are talking about being disinterested in an article titled "Ask A Female Engineer"...because it has the word "female".
> Being a woman doesn't somehow qualify the article author in any way to discuss startups - having started a startup or working for one, does.
But it does qualify them to discuss "being a woman engineer at a startup". Which is, I think, the point.
You're getting downvoted by people who don't want to argue. Not for want of an equal society, but for want of the _appearance_ of an equal society that doesn't actually exist.
If you don't want to be treated like a token <minority noun>, don't interview with companies searching for a token <minority noun>.
The fact that people think it's even remotely acceptable to start a sentence like this is strong evidence that we need to spent far more effort seeking out the perspectives of women.
Just curious, but which specific engineering positions, languages/stack etc. were you looking to fill?