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You can be compensated in other ways, but often I've found much of the work at startups can be no more interesting than their Big N counterparts. It might not even be faster paced. Your career growth might also be similar. In theory, for startups, you sacrifice pay for other facets. The reality is quite different.

The work might be similar but you're paid 50-75% of your peers. That was my experience in startup land, at least. Few good challenges or career growth and half of what I felt like I was worth. Completely personal anecdote, but I felt I was sold some half truth, where I was promised career growth, interesting problems and flexibility, but got nothing that I couldn't have found at many Big N companies.

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