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I've been working on Startups for more than 4 years (ask me anything)

Manolo Edge on February 11, 2020

Hey there users! I've been working on a couple of tech startups for more than 4 years now, in this time I've gathered quite a bit of experience ab... [Read Full]
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How do you handle burnout? Our startup team of 6 people has been working 12+ hour days now for months and the workload only seems to be picking up. We just started hiring to lessen our own workloads, but that adds its own stresses too. Any experience with this sort of thing?

 

Hey there, this is just from what I've experienced and applied to myself, so it might not apply to you or your company.

One of the most common things I've seen across multiple teams and companies is that they waste a lot of valuable time because of things such as a bad pipeline, a slow deployment process, bad coordination between the team resulting in incompatibility between different parts of the software, or different work-rates so a worker might be waiting for another part of the code, and just waits there doing nothing.

This, in my experience, ends up generating more work, or more unproductive work. I've seen this and experienced it in almost all Startups I've worked on.

One good thing to do is to keep track of where you are wasting most time and if it is valuable or not. Maybe you are spending a lot of time implementing little features only 2% of users will use whilst bugs are piling up...

I recommend you check this post about time management and productivity:

Also sometimes less is more, I say this because when overworking you tend to eat badly, you sleep less, you don't socialize as much, you don't exercise... and this results in much less performance in general. I really notice a big difference when sleeping well and exercising.

The only time I've collapsed from burnout, was because I spent 2 weeks working 12-14 hours, and a whole weekend without sleep, eating shit all day... In the end, my mind and body could handle it no more...

I recommend this other article about how important sleep can be:
Want to be a better developer? Take care of your sleep!

 

This is very very relatable! Thanks for the response. I'm going to take a closer look at where we're experiencing inefficient dev processes and definitely keep prioritizing my own health!

 

Hello, am a student passionate to educate and inform others about tech and programming. I'm planning on tackling this by starting a tech community but i don't know how to go about it. Any advice and suggestions

 

Hey, I don't think I can answer this, it's too broad of a question. What kind of community? A forum? A fisical community?

If it's some kind of forum, there are loads of resources out there on how to create one. Or use some kind of forum generator or some kind of already done template.

 

I would like to know what tech stack should one should think/pick if you wanna build a Social Network which is powered by blockchain or cryptos and what's the infrastructure cost 🀷

 

This question is kinda tricky. It was a long journey to get something that worked.

I guess the most important tech to know would be "Blockchain", without a basic understanding of blockchain it will be complicated to do it. But I will try explaining some problems we encountered:

One big problem we encountered was to find a Blockchain that allowed transactions bigger than 1kb (what Bitcoin core accepted back when we started developing this platform). In the end, we ended up creating a Blockchain of our own, based on Bitcoin! Although nowadays there might be more Blockchains that allow more data to be sent through.

Another really important point was, how do we make it cheap/free to post content on the social network? Because by default blockchains have fees, but we did not want our users to need to pay to make a post. I can't explain what we did exactly, but we somewhat "removed" the fees.

The most important thing we encountered was (taking into account that blockchain is decentralized, and one should not be able to remove a transaction) how to Administrate the site, how to ban users, how to remove posts if they don't follow the terms of service, etc...

If you are interested in learning more about the tech behind it, please check this link for more information. We/they came up with a lot of smart solutions to hard problems!

 
 

Is it true that it far better to hire more senior developers for startups? If not any recommendations? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

 

In my experience, it's the contrary, I would prefer a junior or mid level programmer over a senior. Let me explain, senior devs usually have their own way of working and try to do stuff their way, of course not all of them, but in my experience devs with less experience usually pick up the company's standards and way of working a lot quicker than seniors. Some seniors will be needed nonetheless but not all of the devs. They also earn more because of the title, even if they do the same work as a junior. So for me I usually prefer mid-level or junior devs.

PD: this is just from my experience. And might differ depending on the type of software you are developing.

 
 

I don't think I can answer this, I haven't had to bother too much with this, I was an intern in a startup, made a good relation with them and other startups, offered good value and stayed around since, although changing from one to another...

 

Hi Manolo, how do you handle the contract issue in a startup? Do you have a percentage of shares?
An above-market salary?

 

Hi Manolo, how do you handle the contract issue in a startup?

Well In my case I've been quite lucky in that respect and they hired me full-time. I haven't worried too much about this, although in the long term you must always consider that the startup might fail and you might lose your job, so having other income channels is always advised as well as having options in case it fails for example, investing, creating side-projects, etc....

The first startup I worked in for around 2 years was dissolved due to a misunderstanding between the 2 owners, a lot of workers were fired, but not me, why? I was useful for them and created a really good relationship, so one of the owners took me with them to the next Startup. I then took on a bigger role in the company.

The salary for me has always been below-market.

Do you have a percentage of shares?

I don't at the moment, because they don't have them. But I have been offered shares in other startups on occasions!

An above-market salary?

Actually, no. I've always earned below-average for that same position in a big company. Although this has never been my priority, I value a lot more the work conditions, the schedule, if the workplace is friendly...

I don't know about other startups but I guess its similar, at least the ones starting up.

 

Thanks for sharing Manolo, the startup world is amazing, i hope some day be involved in it.

Thanks to you for reading. I hope you get involved one day :) It can be a really good experience, although it can also be hell, so decide well before...

 

Are there any misconceptions about working at a startup that you'd like to clarify based on your experience?

 

I don't know if this would classify as a misconception, but ideas are not everything, eveyone can have ideas, but if you can't turn them into reality they're just that, ideas.

People give too much importance to having ideas...

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