Ever thought of working at a startup? Reading TechCrunch articles and wishing that you could be part of the fun? Wondering what information you need to make a decision?
When considering joining a startup, here are the questions that I want to satisfactorily answer before making a decision.
- Will I be able to effectively partner with the other team members?
- Will I get along personally and professionally with the other team members?
- Do the other team members have complementary qualities to me or will we all be trying to fill the same?
- Can we develop a shared vision?
- Can we disagree in a constructive manner?
- How will I get started at the position? Would there be a trial period?
- What will be my roles and responsibilities in the short, mid, and long term?
- What will I be responsible for and what will other team members be responsible for?
- How much influence will I have over product and company direction?
- How will I be compensated? How much cash (both deferred and non-deferred), equity, and bonuses.
- Is the equity being offered fair for my position and the state of the company (take a look at this hiring plan equity suggestion from Venture Hacks)
- How many outstanding shares are there and how many have been dispensed?
- How long will salary be deferred?
- Who do you think your competition is, both in the short and long term?
- How will the company differentiate itself from these competitors?
- What is the marketing plan to raise awareness of the product?
- What is the product development plan?
- When will releases occur and what will be in them?
- Are the schedules reasonable from both a technology and market view?
- What is the upside opportunity for the company? How likely is that upside to be realized?
- How much protectable IP will be available?
- How good is the current team?
- What gaps exist on the team and when will they be filled in (e.g. VP Marketing)?
- Where will the company be located and is there a plan to move as we grow?
- How susceptible is the company to changing fads in the VC marketplace?
- What is the financial projections for the company?
- What will the cap tables look like after all investment is in?
- What will be my equity position, taking into account preferred shares already granted and those that are planned for future investment?
- What are the revenue opportunities and when will we start seeing revenue?
- What is the proposed exit time frame?
Who would be potential acquirors?
- Do I feel comfortable with the timing of taking this position?
- Do I have the support from my family?
- Am I more scared of failing or of missing a great opportunity?