Why these Colorado tech employees chose the startup life

by Jess Ryan
August 3, 2016

Sometimes, the images people get of startup life can be pretty bleakWhen the concept of working at a startup often conjures thoughts of long hours, founders focused on the bottom line instead of leading the team and the seemingly never-ending risk of running out of money, why would anyone want to work at a startup?

We asked three members of Colorado’s startup community to share why they chose the startup life — and it turns out, working at some startups is pretty different than 10 a.m. beer pong and working through the night.


Ben Wright, CEO

Why did you decide to join the startup life?

I found a service line that the market was searching for but couldn't find... and, as they say, "out of necessity comes invention." Plus, I've spent my career working in varying degrees of professional fulfillment, so the thought of giving others (our employees) the chance for a professional experience like I've never had — but always wanted — was too good to pass up.

What's been the best part of running a startup?

The list is too long to detail here, but the top three are giving our team professional opportunities they may never find elsewhere, solving a real problem that heretofore hadn't been addressed and the ability to make a difference every day to those you interact with.

What have you found challenging?

The lack of a script. In some ways this is very much a positive, because sometimes you luck into game-changing models and/or ways of doing business. But on the flip side some days you are faced with challenges you just have no idea how to solve... so you just do your very best and hope for a good outcome.

What does "startup life" mean to you?

Writing your own script. This goes for every person in the organization. Beyond simply being encouraged to innovate, you must innovate and bring creativity to everything you do.


Sara Swearingen, Manager of Sales in North America

Why did you decide to work for a startup?

I got lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview for an amazing startup company years ago and I haven't looked back since. I love working for a company where I have a large impact, it’s easy to improve on processes and there’s a lot of room for growth. At the various startups I have worked for, it has shown that hard work results in all three of these.

What's been the best part of working for a startup?

The best part of working for a startup is seeing the impact of your ideas. I am constantly learning best practices and improving processes. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is when I make a change to the process and then can immediately view the impact it has on the bottom line.

What have you found challenging?

The most challenging part of the startup life is that not everything is figured out. You have to be confident that the work you are doing is what will get the company across the finish line even when there is no clear path to the finish line or you may not even be sure what the finish line is. You have to just push forward.

What does "startup life" mean to you?

Startup life consists of hard work, constant change and times of uncertainty, but also passion, innovation and growth. It means that every day, you, as an individual, have a big impact on the success of the company overall and that's the most exciting part about coming to work.


Henry Springer, Marketing and Customer Engagement Manager

Why did you decide to work for a startup?

Startups typically offer you personal growth. They give you the opportunity to try new things and figure out what you really enjoy quicker than you would at a larger company. There also tends to be more energy in startups, which only exaggerates that personal growth.

What's been the best part of working for a startup?

Stepping into influential roles at a young age. It really challenges you.

What have you found challenging?

The most challenging part for me has been focus. With so much going on, and so much to figure out, it's hard to stay focused on a single objective.

What does “startup life” mean to you?

It means learning. It means growing. It means working with others who value those things.


Photos via social media and featured companies.

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