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5 Reasons to Join a Startup: An Insider's Perspective

By Mark Borum

in Startup Life

Posted April 20, 2014

The reasons to join a startup, straight from a Reelio co-founder. 

There have been more blogposts on Reasons to Join A Startup in the past few years than I even care to read. So why write another one? Because of the 1000’s of blogs written, from Forbes to The Huffington Post and everything in between, few were actually written by someone who started their own company. This is an insider’s account as to why joining a startup makes sense.

1. Experience. If I knew then what I know now. We all do it. Everyone thinks about an instance in their lives where they were forced to make decisions, yet didn’t quite have the wisdom to be confident in the choices they made. That wisdom comes through the experience of having done something and learned from it.

Think through your last year of work or school. If it was anything like the jobs I’ve experienced or the jobs a lot of my friends and colleagues are currently experiencing, you probably clocked in, completed a few tasks, managed a few projects, milled about feeling like one of many, clocked out, then prepared for the process all over again. The next thing you know, time has passed, but your skillset hasn’t really grown. You’ve not really pushed yourself.

In the past year, we’ve gotten VC backing, built a working product, and put it into the hands of paying customers. That’s pretty cool. You know what’s cooler? I, and every member of our team, know that we had a hand in the successes (and failures) thus far. The coolest thing is that we have all had to tackle tasks that we wouldn’t normally be asked to and our voice is continually heard. That is experience that, no matter our outcome, pays dividends for all future ventures.

2. The People. Very rarely does one get the chance to surround themselves with people who are as passionate as they are intelligent. A startup affords you that opportunity.

At the risk of sounding sappy, it is an honor to come in everyday and surround myself with brilliant people who are committed to creating something awesome. The startup environment is a continuously inspiring machine. Every time you look around you or need help with something, odds are you will find someone who makes you want to learn, grow, and better yourself and your team.

3. Room to Grow. Remember reasons number 1 and 2? Well, startups tend to surround themselves with amazing people and give them excellent opportunities to learn and gain practical business experience. This is great for advancing your careers. Most startups want you to succeed and help push you toward that success right out of the gate, because not only is it great for you, but it’s great for them.

4. Pride. You know the sense of accomplishment you feel after going to the gym. Or after you’ve just beaten your best friend in this year’s Madden. Or solving the Sunday Times crossword without cheating. Now take that feeling and multiply it by…oh, I don’t know…a million. That’s the pride that comes from working closely with a talented group of people to make something from scratch. To see the efforts you’ve put in bring this company to life is enough to make even the Grinch’s heart swell with pride 3x it’s normal size.


5. Fun. I think it’s the ultimate goal in life to be able to do something you enjoy doing and get paid for it. If everyone did that, the world’s problems would be solved. No more hunger. No more crime. No more cancer. Okay…so maybe it wouldn’t solve the world’s problems, but our own lives would be much better.

Working in a startup can be fun. But, while that is awesome, the added bonus is that startups try to foster a sense of community. People are working really, REALLY hard and there is an added benefit to the friendships formed and the fun had - you know the family that plays together stays together…or maybe it’s all work and no play makes for a miserable time in your cubicle…or something.

There you have it. Those are my top 5 reasons on ‘Why You Should Work at a Startup.’ So, if you’re reading this at your desk, march into your boss’s office, tell him you’ve moved on (it’s not him, it’s you) and find a startup that you could greatly impact.


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