Alex Payne — Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup

Here are some things to consider that, in my experience, you’re less likely to hear about working in startups.

Good essay. I’ve been thinking this for a while:

Startups are portrayed as an exciting, risky, even subversive alternative to traditional corporate work. Startups are thought of as more free, more open and flexible. Some companies surely begin that way, but a few interviews at later-stage startups will make clear just how quickly they ossify into structures that look very much like the organizations that came before them.

As there was in the first dot com bubble, there is a current proliferation of startups, incubators, accelerators, angel/seed funding, and so forth. In order for the “startup community” to replicate itself, nanobot-like, the mechanics of “doing a startup” have been reduced to an easily transmitted sequence of actions accompanied by a shared set of values, norms, and language.

Alex Payne — Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup