Thursday, May 10, 2007

Startup joining Dilemma

It’s an interesting dilemma about when you should join a startup company, when you are young or when you are old. Lately, I have talked to people who are young and people who are old (I mean my age). When I talked to old people, they tell me that it is too late to do a startup or get into a startup. They look at me with a stare similar to – “are you out of your mind”. They tell me about the home loan, the kids that go to school and their lavish lifestyle. Some of them tell me about their health problems. Some of them tell me that they are “much higher than startups”, and startups is for people like me. While, deep inside, I know what really keeps them away from getting out of their comfort zones. When I talked to young people, I hear – is this the right time for me, I think I should work for a large company and “gain some experience”. What’s wrong with working in a large organization? Can I really take risk at this point in my career, I am just beginning to work, and won’t it cause problems?

I find this very interesting. I like to lecture people about this dilemma; it almost seems like my favorite topic.

While it is obvious that the best time to take a risk is at the beginning of your career. When you are young and energetic. When you can work 24 hours without a break. When the fire to know more, to solve problems in half the time your nearest competitor can. This is the time when you don’t have house loans, when you can go home late, and come back to office early (or you can sleep at the office). Remember that the next time you will have no-house-loan will be 15 years hence.

I think the young in India should take more risk. Join a startup, make something happen, work hard, build something.

Disclaimer: I co-founded Komli, and currently run the engineering at Pune, India.

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Blogger Anand Das said...

Man to the point. I would like to say to the guys out there in the dilemma "Do or Don't, Don't give reasons" cause there is more fun in building some thing from the beginning. A sense of achievement. A sense of belonging which you don't have when every thing is already set for you and given to you in a silver plate.
Go get your hands dirty and you will reap rewards.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there are two kind of people. One start up people and other not a start up people. Third may be combination of both.Start up people will take up the job any time. It is not a function of age or liability.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Guru said...

Dear Mukul,

Thank you for your comment on my post at the Great Indian Mutiny. It is good to know about some Indian start-ups and the people behind them. I agree with you that the right time to join startups is when you are young. I hope more and more Indian software professionals start becoming adventurous when it comes to taking risks!


10:52 PM  
Blogger Curious MInd said...

Nice post indeed.i am too going through same dillema and till now not able to find concrete solution.

As you rightly said best time is when you are young for so many obious reasons.

But at same time I beleive this whole question of "best time to join or start a start-up" is more a culture issue then personal.

Does an US graduate face same dilemma? Even if yes, does he/she ahve same doubt and fears?

I guess no. Entreprenuarial culture in india is very nascent and ecosystem is very fragile which cannot support a failed entreprenuer.A part of society still belive accumalation of weath is bad and bussiness is inherently dirty.Market is not developed.We have very few role models to follow.Under these conditions i am sure very have to think , thanik a lot before making a jump.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is a nice blog. I learn a lot in startup because your blog is full of information about it.


8:10 AM  

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