Chapter 10. Getting a Job at a Startup

You’ve read Chapter 1 and you know you want to work for a startup. How do you find a good one to join? How do you get the company to be interested in you? What do you do at the interview? How do you evaluate the company and its offer?

The first step to getting a great job is to make yourself great, something I’ll discuss in Chapter 12. In this chapter, I will walk you through the process of getting hired at a startup. I’ll start by describing how to find startup jobs, then review what it takes to ace the interview, and finally discuss how to evaluate and negotiate job offers.

Finding a startup job

The first step to finding a great startup job is to know what you’re looking for. Sit down and try to answer the following questions:

What industries and types of products are you interested in?

Examples: medicine, e-commerce, news, travel, social networking, games, video, finance, communications, security.

What technologies are you passionate about?

Examples: embedded systems, mobile apps, distributed systems, functional programming, robotics, biosensors, machine learning, information retrieval, graphics.

What type of business model are you interested in?

Examples: advertising (display, affiliate, lead gen), commerce (retail, marketplace, auction), subscription (SaaS, membership, paywall), peer to peer (messaging, sharing, buying), transaction processing (merchants, banks), data (business intelligence, market research), open source (consulting, ...

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