For the last month and some, I've been working with a new, very early stage firm. I think the science is fantastic, the people are eager and bright and the opportunity is hockey-sticky. Those are all good things.
It makes me think about being a startup-monkey in its entirety and on balance, how much joy it has provided me. I've worked at a couple of different sized startups and have been subjected to a variety of cultures - some introspective and genius-y, some cold and one-note, some warm and silly and all of them have been informative in one way or another.
Certainly informative about media and technology and lots of standard business concepts - leadership, management, operations blah blah. Most interestingly, it has been informative about my own personal boundaries.
I do believe that startups are far more of a crucible than most corporate environments. They are raw, heady and fairly unfiltered and this gives one the opportunity to make some real discoveries about the composition of your backbone. Is it made of titanium or month old cheese from the back of a drawer?
What's been even more interesting has been the unescapable realization that sometimes the cheese has a function. I've often seen those titanium cyborgs walk straight into brick walls and it hasn't been pretty. I guess if I wanted pretty, I'd be working....hmm...there is no pretty corporate environment, is there?
All said, I love earlymania and have missed it.