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Ask HN: How to get a job after a failed startup?
16 points by startuplife01 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments
I worked it for 8 months. I've now completely exhausted my savings. Our product is live but the growth is super slow. There is no way I can see it reaching product market fit. Investors are not interested with such low numbers.

I am a product guy with moderate level tech skills.

Should I keep the startup on my resume (with reason for shutting down + lessons)? Or should I leave it out from my resume and instead add the product we built as a 'project'?

I'm looking at product management jobs or software engineering jobs.

I am trying to reconcile your question, with the one you just posted recently (16 days ago)


>" ... Interests & life goals: Product Management, starting his own startup (or a profit making lifestyle business), reaching financial independence Recently graduated from an Indian college with computer science degree.

Don't have too much savings but have strong experience under belt from working on several side-projects (with users) during college years.

What career advice would you give? Also, would you suggest he look into moving and working in the West, (Germany or Canada) or stay in India?


I may be totally misreading this, but it seems like are you are posting your resume + availability, under AskHN umbrella.

With regards to your direct question on if a failed startup needs to be mentioned.

I would say if you have things to show (eg a website/app link), and you feel comfortable describing your contribution there -- it should be mentioned.

May be under 'other projects' section.

Thanks for your advice.

No, I have no intentions of posting my resume on HN. I respect the HN community's advice more than any other software communities. So, it is natural for me to want to ask advice here. And I can't ask for advice without posting atleast some information about where I'm at. Also, I don't have any contact details on my HN profile.

Moderators, if you feel the thread does not belong here, you may remove it. I can't see an option to delete the original post.

Can you link to the startup?

My side projects were usually the biggest positives when I went for interviews. Nobody is going to ask you how much money they made because it's not important for software engineering jobs - you've shown you can use your own initiative and finish projects by yourself. Not sure what you're nervous about.

Put it on your resume if it's something you're proud of, even if it failed. The fact that you were willing to give it a shot is typically a positive signal. Be prepared to talk about it - a lot of interviewers will find that more interesting than working at yet another startup, so if you can talk intelligently about what you learned and the progress you made, it'll definitely score you points in an interview.

Focus on what went right. You designed, built, and launched a product.

Also curious, how slow is "slow" growth in percentages? Maybe it's not as bad as you think...

You still had "wins" and hurdles you had to overcome. I'd leave it there. If asked, focus on those wins. If I were building a drone company in 2006, I could say I overcame engineering hurdles to design the product but failed to reach market due to government restrictions, aka FAA. That way it looks like anyone would have lost that game but you still have talent.

> I'm looking at product management jobs or software engineering jobs.

Suggest looking instead for the person you can best help. Think Founders/COO's of early-stage firms.

Try to connect with that individual. Linkedin is good for this. They'll likely relate to your story.

Everything is marketing. You can spin failures into successes if you do it right.

> Should I keep the startup on my resume (with reason for shutting down + lessons)?

yes, experience is what matters, not success or failure.

how do you use a failed startup to pivot into a new industry (i.e. not tech)?

Try to create your own.

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