You Know You’re Working at a Tech Startup When…

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / January 16, 2014


If you did not know this already, working at a startup is a lifestyle choice. Firstly, you should dispense with the notion of 9-5, as this type of job entails continuous responsibility and accountability. The entire company could fail if you slack off, so don’t!

Employee happiness is a priority at startups. You will be encouraged to personalize your workspace, and you may be shocked when everyone in the office calls the boss by his first name and freely shares jokes.

One prevailing myth when it comes to tech startups is that they only hire “rock stars” over regular people. In reality, start-ups prefer generalists to specialists, as someone who is versatile with SEO, graphic design and web building, is going to be more highly regarded than someone who just knows SEO.  So, when working in a tech startup, you’re unlikely to be surrounded by specialist boffins. You’ll be around people who a broader skill set.

And if any of these points below hit home, you can be sure you work at a tech startup.

1. Pants which would traditionally be regarded as casual nightwear are commonplace.

2. Your managers all wear plaid.

3. One computer screen is never enough. You need at least two. At least!

4. You know what WYSIWYG means.

5. As long as you have your Macbook and a wi-fi hotspot, you’re at work.

6. Knowing what day of the week it is, is irrelevant information and you’ve long since forgotten the meaning of the word “weekend.”

7. The idea of having to wear a suit to work scares the hell out of you.

8. There’s no such thing as “job description.” You act as the receptionist, sales person, programmer, designer and accountant.

9. There’s a dedicated room in your office for gaming.

10. Office meetings contain such agendas as the results of the vote on the color of the new beanbag chairs and other ultra-modern Scandinavian style furniture.

11. Breakfast donuts and granola bars are basic food groups, and the company fridge has beer.

12. Your relatives constantly ask whether you got a real job yet.

13. You can’t figure out whether someone is tweeting about your idea, or ignoring you.

14. You can be getting all your work done, as well as browsing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ simultaneously.

15. You have an app for everything.

It’s also worth remembering that it’s very likely you will have to live with the fact that getting paid is a luxury, not a right. Regardless of what people may say, to be part of a tech startup is to be part of something larger than yourself and to do something ridiculously hard–changing the world.

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Written with love by the writers at Fueled (, London designers of polished mobile apps.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.