Working for a startup

I moved from a steady job 6 months ago to work for a small start-up consultancy called Activesphere. I’d be lying if i said it is awesome and we have no problems, I’d say it is awesome and we have a lot of problems. That’s not saying too much.  Let me explain.

I do not make as much money as I would in a “stable” company job. I dare say I don’t expect to make much more even in the long term. It also has challenges around making some tough decisions around whom to hire what to do next and how to deal with “Losers”.

What I get instead is the enormous flexibility in working, In my previous company, i had to be at work latest by 10:00 and would be still at work at 8:30 PM, not by force of course. Now I reach office around lunch and leave by 6:00PM. I have been regularly cycling to work, leisurely and taking the longer ways because i choose to go to work at the time when traffic is at the minimum and not in a hurry to make the standup at office.

That also means that I have about 4-5 hours at work and maybe a few hours later in the evening. This has been another change for me.  I get 4 hours of focussed work and that generally is sufficient for me to get my work done.  I have no responsibility to train somebody or work to maintain Organizational Leverage. All my colleagues are smarter than me and I get to go full steam towards what i am supposed to do. Yes it also means that i learn less of the ‘git’ tricks or new tools to get things faster.

Soon after losing out on pairing, I noticed that I was in the ‘Stuck’ state (like staring at the screen for without a clue about why things were not working) for longer than earlier when the pair would help me make some of my decisions. It lasted for a while, before it became much lesser in frequency. I think that might be ok, the overall productivity benefits I get. We’ll see.

After multiple failed attempts at running consistently, I have also started to run regularly averaging around 40 km a week for the last 3 months, and  will run my 2nd Half marathon at Auroville this weekend.

When I quit my last company i was thinking of doing something other than consulting, something more meaningful. I definitely am not doing what I intended to do, but it’s definitely a better place than earlier.

Let’s see how long this lasts.



2 responses to “Working for a startup

  1. What you you feel today about not pairing ?

    — Ram

    • Well it was good while it lasted, but after a while it is not too much fun and very constraining. Unless I am pairing with Owen Rogers or Chris Stevenson, i would pass these days. I have gotten better at working without a pair over time. Tests are a big help IMHO.
      But as with most things, YMMV

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