Giving up the cushy corporate cube: Why we choose the startup life

by Anthony Sodd
September 30, 2015

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Here we are in the middle of Denver Startup Week, a celebration of all things entrepreneurship. Amidst all the hubbub we thought it would be worth taking a step back and seeing why we choose to work in a startup in the first place. In many regards, the startup life is more challenging and difficult than many other options — as anyone who has had a cushy corporate, government or nonprofit job will attest. So why do it?

We caught up with some people who were living the startup lifestyle and asked them what about it made them tick. Here's what they had to say: 

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"I chose to work at a startup because it is incredibly empowering to work with a team on which everyone is pulling their weight to build something. The amount of trust you can gain from, and for, your peers is unbounded. When the entire team is working together on a solution to the same problem, you stand to learn more each day, both individually and as an organization." - Leah Swan, Director of Product Development at CommercialTribe
 
 
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"I chose to work in a startup because I was looking for an opportunity to help build something." - Mike Fawkes, Business Development Manager at CommercialTribe

 

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"I was looking to be part of an environment where I could feel like I was actively contributing to something while at the same time challenging myself. I think also that the people in Recurly are what make it so great, I'm definitely surrounded by people that are smarter than I am which I feel like ultimately makes me a better person." - Rafi Yagudin, Senior Support Engineer at Recurly

 

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"I’ve worked in a bunch of different office environments, but I enjoy startup environments because they usually have great energy and are more casual. Recurly recently opened a new office in Boulder and it’s been a lot of fun helping the new office take shape. Building your own desk and picking out office snacks beats a cube farm any day." Joe Siewert, Senior Support Engineer at Recurly

 

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"One of the biggest reasons I chose to work at Brandfolder over my cushy, corporate job is that I'll never be the smartest person in the room. Because the room is always changing, in the best way possible. Employees today just want to be challenged and know they’re making an impact — two things that definitely happen in startup life." - Jae Sung, Digital Content Manager at Brandfolder

 

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"Today at work we got foot hammocks for our desks (yes, that's a thing). Everybody please buy a Brandfolder so that I can work here forever. Thanks." - Ashley Clarke, Developer at Brandfolder

 

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"In the 5 months I’ve worked at Brandfolder, I’ve prepped for the board, deployed enterprise marketing automation software, hired two people, helped reorganize an office, executed a flash mob, and commandeered a piñata (happy bday boss). Startup life is like drinking from a career-accelerating firehose — in a good way — and I’m thirsty" - Jenay Sellers, Sr Digital Marketing Manager at Brandfolder

 

Have a tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Email us via [email protected].

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