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Breakout List: Identify Top Startups To Join

Career Planning Guide for People in the Technology Industry

When thinking about what to do next, think about the long game — you’ll be working with people in different ways in our industry for the next 20-30 years. So make sure you pick great people to work with and learn with.

John Lilly, General Partner at Greylock

Step Notes Advice from
0 What should I do with my life?
1 How should I think about my career?
2 Should I join a startup?
3 What company should I join?
4 Filtering the list
5 Applying
6 Interviewing
7 Deciding
8 After getting hired

These notes begin at defining a life goal, transition to thinking about a career, then whether you should join a startup, what company you should join, how to apply, and how to decide between offers/companies.

Given the significant proportion of time you spend on your career, it's worth some thought. This is an attempt at a deliberate understatement.

One "quick" hack to optimize your career: put in a lot of thought and think long term.

Summary of advice:

Through lots of research and reflection, find a company where you feel like you "have" to join.

Be so good (and persistent) that they can't ignore you (assuming you have runway, spend 1+ months convincing the company that you will add value to them by working for free / showing up and offering to help / etc).

Step 0: What should I do with my life?

Here are some opinions. These aren't intended to provide an answer directly, but they may provoke you to think of an answer.

What is the goal of life?

Post by Albert Wenger, USV. Why Are We Here?

For me the very existence and possibility of human knowledge provides the answer to the question of why we are here and what we should try to accomplish in life. We should endeavor to contribute to knowledge. Given my definition this can mean a great many things, including teaching and making music and taking care of others. Anything that either adds to or reproduces knowledge is, so far, a uniquely human activity and why we are here (“adding” includes questioning or even invalidating existing knowledge).

Excerpt from Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance.

At around age fourteen, Musk had a full-on existential crisis. He tried to deal with it like many gifted adolescents do, turning to religious and philosophical texts. Musk sampled a handful of ideologies and then ended up more or less back where he had started, embracing the sci-fi lessons found in one of the most influential books in his life: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. "He points out that one of the really tough things is figuring out what questions to ask," Musk said. "Once you figure out the question, then the answer is relatively easy. I came to the conclusion that really we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask."

The teenage Musk then arrived at his ultralogical mission statement. "The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for greater collective enlightenment," he said.

Post by Om Malik

The moral of this story (told to me by Liam Casey of PCH International, who heard it in China) is that money and success aren’t everything, and that you need to know what you’re aiming for before beginning on an endeavor. We often get caught up in false ambition and forget why we wanted to do something in the first place. That lapse of memory costs us the joy of something that got us started.

Today it is easy to learn about starting a business. You can get practical advice and to-do lists at the click of a button. However, what you can’t get from others is the understanding about why you are doing what you are doing and toward what end. If only I had heard this story earlier, I would have made fewer — or perhaps different — mistakes.

Points from Vinod Khosla at the GSB (YouTube)

Most people won't take risks

Most people will watch Vinod's talk, and still not take risks

Take huge risks and do things that really matter

Excerpt from interview with Jeff Bezos

If a young person came to you for advice, "How do I make the most out of my life?" what would you say to them?

Do something you're very passionate about, and don't try to chase what is kind of the 'hot passion' of the day. I think we actually saw this. I think you see it all over the place in many different contexts, but I think we saw it in the Internet world quite a bit, where, at sort of the peak of the Internet mania in -- say 1999 -- you found people who were very passionate of something, and they kind of left that job and decided, "I'm going to do something on the Internet because it's almost like the 1849 Gold Rush in a way." I mean, you find that people -- if you go back and study the history of the 1949 Gold Rush you find that, at that time, everybody who was within shouting distance of California was -- you know, they might have been a doctor, but they quit being a doctor and they started panning for gold, and that almost never works. And, even if it does work, according to some metric, financial success, or whatever it might be, I suspect it leaves you ultimately unsatisfied. So, you really need to be very clear with yourself. And I think one of the best ways to do that is this notion of projecting yourself forward to age 80, looking back on your life, and trying to make sure you've minimized the number of regrets you have. That works for career decisions. It works for family decisions. I have a 14-month old son, and it's very easy for me to -- if I think about myself when I'm 80, I know I want to watch that little guy grow up, and so it's -- I don't want to be 80 and think, "Shoot! You know, I missed that whole thing, and I don't have the kind of relationship with my son that I wished I had," and so on and so on.

Another thing that I would recommend to people is that they always take a long-term point of view. I think this is something about which there's a lot of controversy. A lot of people -- and I'm just not one of them -- believe that you should live for the now. I think what you do is think about the great expanse of time ahead of you and try to make sure that you're planning for that in a way that's going to leave you ultimately satisfied. This is the way it works for me. There are a lot of paths to satisfaction and you need to find one that works for you.

What makes one happy?

Post from The Breakout List, Happiness science for breakout careers

Coherent story: Understand your life in terms of a coherent story. Seriously, attempt to write out the main points of a novel that may be written about your life.

Goals: Frame career goals in terms of relationships and generativity (leaving legacy and contributing to society), instead of wealth and achievement.

Virtues: Seek to work at companies with virtuous individuals. Wise, courageous, humane, just, temperate, and transcendent people.

Conditions: Avoid environments with uncontrollable noise, especially if the noise is variable. Seek a short commute. Seek a job where you can exercise some aspects of control, even if minute. Ensure that you mend conflicts in interpersonal relationships. I’d suggest learning active listening for that.

Seek flow: Clear challenges that fully engage you, where you have the skills to meet the challenge, and somehow get immediate feedback on how you are doing. Some programming tasks are especially suited to states of flow. Do tasks that engage your strengths.

Build relationships: Express gratitude to people who have helped you at work or in your career. Write gratitude letters. Join or start a group with coworkers or people from your industry that meets weekly or monthly to share an activity.

Reframe as a calling: In conjunction with point #1, try to see how your work fits into a worthy larger undertaking.

What does it take to be successful?

Excerpt from interview with Kobe Bryant by GQ

So how much are you willing to give up? Have you given up the possibility of having friends? Do you have any friends?

I have "like minds." You know, I've been fortunate to play in Los Angeles, where there are a lot of people like me. Actors. Musicians. Businessmen. Obsessives. People who feel like God put them on earth to do whatever it is that they do. Now, do we have time to build great relationships? Do we have time to build great friendships? No. Do we have time to socialize and to hangout aimlessly? No. Do we want to do that? No.We want to work. I enjoy working.

So is this a choice? Are you actively choosing not to have friends?

Well, yes and no. I have friends. But being a "great friend" is something I will never be. I can be a good friend. But not a great friend. A great friend will call you every day and remember your birthday. I'll get so wrapped up in my shit, I'll never remember that stuff. And the people who are my friends understand this, and they're usually the same way. You gravitate toward people who are like you. But the kind of relationships you see in movies—that's impossible for me. I have good relationships with players around the league. LeBron and I will text every now and then. KG and I will text every now and then. But in terms of having one of those great, bonding friendships—that's something I will probably never have. And it's not some smug thing. It's a weakness. It's a weakness.

Step 1: How should I think about my career?

On doing what's interesting

Excerpt from Poor Charlie's Almanack, by Charlie Munger (p. 450)

Another thing that I have found is that intense interest in any subject is indispensable if you're really going to excel in it. I could force myself to be fairly good in a lot of things, but I couldn't excel in anything in which I didn't have an intense interest. So to some extent you're going to have to do as I did. If at all feasible, you want to maneuver yourself into doing something in which you have an intense interest.

Post by David Lee, 'Follow Your Interest'

I found that a better - or more practical - heuristic is doing what interests you or piques your curiosity. Or generally, what just feels “right” for you. Not what you’re supposed to do - as dictated by peer pressure, family pressure, or self-inflicted pressure.

From a conversation with anon

I don't do any career goals or anything like that.

I try and do things that are a) interesting to me and b) that the world needs.

On career planning

Notes from Peter Thiel's class (hat tip to David Lee)

A good intermediate lesson in chess is that even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. Having no plan is chaotic. And yet people default to no plan. When I taught at the law school last year, I’d ask law students what they wanted to do with their life. Most had no idea. Few wanted to become law firm partners. Even fewer thought that they would actually become partner if they tried. Most were going to go work at law firms for a few years and “figure it out.”

That’s basically chaos. You should either like what you’re doing, believe it’s a direct plan to something else, or believe it’s an indirect plan to something else. Just adding a resume lines every two years thinking it will buy you options is bad. If you’re climbing a hill, you should take a step back and look at the hill every once in awhile. If you just keep marching and never evaluating, you may get old and finally realize that it was a really low hill.

One reason people may default to not thinking about the future is that they’re uncomfortable being different. It is unfashionable to plan things out and to believe that you have an edge you can use to make things happen.

The Thiel approach

What is valuable (to the world), and going to remain valuable over the next 10+ years?

What can I do (well), and maintain/improve my ability to perform at over the coming years?

What are other people not doing, and not going to start doing very soon?

Step 2: Should I join a startup?

Will I get rich?

Post by Chris Dixon, The ideal startup career path

As Aaron said, you shouldn’t think of joining a startup as just joining a company. You should think of it as joining the startup career path. This career path could mean starting a company as your first job. It could also mean working at a few startups and then starting a company. (In my view, if your goal is to start a company, it is mostly a waste of time to work anywhere but a startup – with the possible exception of a short stint in venture capital).

Maybe you will make some money working at a startup, but more importantly you will hopefully work for founders and managers who are smart and willing to mentor you and eventually fund or help you fund your startup.

On learning, or what you will get out of working at a startup

Notes from Peter Thiel's class (hat tip to Garry Tan)

We tend to massively underestimate the compounding returns of intelligence. As humans, we need to solve big problems. If you graduate Stanford at 22 and Google recruits you, you’ll work a 9-to-5. It’s probably more like an 11-to-3 in terms of hard work. They’ll pay well. It’s relaxing. But what they are actually doing is paying you to accept a much lower intellectual growth rate. When you recognize that intelligence is compounding, the cost of that missing long-term compounding is enormous. They’re not giving you the best opportunity of your life. Then a scary thing can happen: You might realize one day that you’ve lost your competitive edge. You won’t be the best anymore. You won’t be able to fall in love with new stuff. Things are cushy where you are. You get complacent and stall. So, run your prospective engineering hires through that narrative. Then show them the alternative: working at your startup.

Post by Kyle Tibbitts, Rate-of-learning: the most valuable startup compensation

The most valuable compensation for working at a startup as opposed to a “normal job” is a dramatically higher rate-of-learning (ROL).

Post by Mark Suster, Is it Time for You to Earn or to Learn?

My advice is often, “make sure that what you get out of working at this company is one or several of the following: a great network of talented excutives and VCs, more responsibility than your last job, specific industry or technical skills that will help you in what you do next, a chance to partner with companies that will increase your industry relationships, etc.” Learn now to earn later.

Should I start a company?

Post by Dustin Moskovitz, Good and Bad Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur

There are good reasons, and there are bad reasons.

Read the post if this is a topic you are thinking about.

Excerpt from interview with Jeff Bezos

What were your intentions when you left [graduated from] Princeton? What did you set out to do?

I toyed with the idea of starting a company and even talked to a couple of friends about starting a company, and ultimately decided that it would be smarter to wait and learn a little bit more about business and the way the world works. You know, one of the things that it's very hard to believe when you're 22 or 23 years old is that you don't already know everything.

Step 3: What company should I join?

Where should I definitely not work?

Excerpt from Poor Charlie's Almanack, by Charlie Munger (p. 233)

Three rules for a career:

1) Don't sell anything you wouldn't buy yourself

2) Don't work for anyone you don’t respect and admire

and 3) Work only with people you enjoy.

What is a good reason to join a startup?

Excerpt on Paul Buchheit in The Launch Pad by Randall Stross

In June 1999, he applied to Google, which then had only twenty-two employees. He was fairly certain that AltaVista would soon destroy the little startup, but he could see that Google had smart people and offered work that would let him learn something, and that’s all he was looking for. He told Jessica Livingston many years later, in Founders at Work, “It worked out well, but it wasn’t like I saw this company and said, ‘Oh, wow, this is going to succeed!’ I just thought it would be fun.”

Ed note: Paul joined Google as employee #23.

What stage should I be looking for?

Note: choice of company is more important than timing.

Post by Chris Dixon, The worst time to join a startup is right after it gets initial VC financing

The best time to join a company is at the very beginning – to found or co-found the company. The second best time is to join before venture financing. The third best time is when the company has started to ramp sales/traction – at that point your equity grant will be small but at least the company will have a much higher likelihood for success. The worst time, from my experience, is right after initial (Series A) VC funding.

Post by David Beisel, How to Find the Perfect Startup Job: Part I “Start with ‘When'”

I believe that there are three opportune times to join a startup:

1. As early as possible (or as you can stomach).

2. When the train has already left the station.

3. When there is a truly unique ability to learn, collaborate with specific people, or work in a special situation.

Should I work at a startup?

"Startup" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Here, let's use startup to mean: a company that has not reached product-market fit in a big market or a small market that will soon be really big.

In that sense, companies like Slack are not startups.

Post by Marc Andreessen, Pmarca Guide to Career Planning: Part 3

When you are first starting your career, you should realize that raw startups are highly variable in terms of the experiences you will have. Some can be great, but many are very poorly managed and go nowhere. You will probably be better off going somewhere that’s already succeeding, gain skills and experience, and then go to a startup.

Picking which startup to join probably deserves its own post. However, in a nutshell, look for one where you understand the product, see how it might fit into a very large market, and really like and respect the people who are already there.

What kind of companies should I be looking for?

Post by Sam Altman, Advice for ambitious 19 year olds

If you join a company, my general advice is to join a company on a breakout trajectory. There are a usually a handful of these at a time, and they are usually identifiable to a smart young person. They are a very good risk/reward tradeoff. Such a company is almost certainly going to be successful, but the rest of the world isn’t quite as convinced of it as they should be. Fortunately, these companies love ambitious young people. In addition to the equity being a great deal (you might get 1/10th of the equity you’d get if you going a tiny new startup, but at 1/100th or 1/1000th of the risk), you will work with very good people, learn what success looks like, and get a W on your record (which turns out to be quite valuable). Spending a few years at a company that fails has path consequences, and working at an already-massively-successful company means you will learn much less, and probably work with less impressive people.

Post by Hunter Walk

If you’re graduating this spring and starting a career in tech, I’ve got one piece of advice: go work at a midstage startup (I’ll define that as B/C rounds of financing – eg Twilio, Stripe, Airbnb, Warby [as of 2014]). Here’s why:

3. The Early Team Still There and They’ll Be Your Tribe for Years: The founders and early team are still in place because there hasn’t been a liquidity event and the work is still exciting for them. These folks – plus your new peers – will most likely spend the next 20 years as your friends, managers, employees, VCs, cofounders, etc. Building a tight and high quality network early in your career is much more valuable than any fancy title or nearterm compensation. From folks a few years more experienced you’ll get mentorship and learn good habits.

Post by Andy Rachleff of Wealthfront

Again, see the note referring to the definition of a startup above.

Zenefits and Slack aren't really startups by this definition.

Andy advises joining companies in a similar stage to Facebook in 2006-7, roughly $20-300 million in revenue and growing quickly.

I prefer to see them take their first jobs after graduation at midsized companies with momentum, not startups, because they are the companies most likely to be big successes.

Conversation between Sheryl Sandberg and Eric Schmidt presented at HBS

Get on a rocket ship. When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.

Post by Elad Gil, Career Decisions

Factors to overweight:

1. Network

2. Market and Growth Rate

3. Optionality

4. Brand

Factors that don't matter as much as you think:

1. Role

2. Compensation

Bonus Points

If you plan to work in tech, move to Silicon Valley. The set of opportunities and networks out here are much stronger. If you do not go to Silicon Valley, go to New York.

Question on Quora, Should I work for Google/Facebook or Pinterest as a new grad?

At Pinterest I think we really do have a crack at becoming the next Google or Facebook, and I think it's much more exciting to help build the next big thing than just to join the already big thing. But you can't really go wrong whatever you decide -- and this decision is highly reversible :)

Question on Quora, As a new grad, should I work for Uber, Facebook/Google, or another startup as a software engineer?

Do I want to work at a big company that is more mature in their life cycle or a smaller company that is younger?

Do I care about what they make?

Did you get excited by the people who interviewed you?

Where will I learn the most?

If I joined a high-momentum company 12 months ago, does this mean I should quit and move to a new high-momentum company?


With the rare exception that you previously hadn't put any thought into career decisions, and now want to think about the long game, join a company for the right reasons, and join the right company for you.

As a reminder, refer to Hunter's thoughts behind joining a mid-stage company:

3. The Early Team Still There and They’ll Be Your Tribe for Years: The founders and early team are still in place because there hasn’t been a liquidity event and the work is still exciting for them. These folks – plus your new peers – will most likely spend the next 20 years as your friends, managers, employees, VCs, cofounders, etc. Building a tight and high quality network early in your career is much more valuable than any fancy title or nearterm compensation. From folks a few years more experienced you’ll get mentorship and learn good habits.

Go find your tribe and stick with them.

Where can I discover good companies to join?

Check out Wealthfront's list.

Check out the portfolio lists of the best venture capitalists and angel investors.

Ask your smartest and best-networked friends.

Built a list, and then filter it down aggressively based on what you decide to be important.

Step 4: Filtering the list

Filtering your list does not mean removing companies you don't think will hire you.

This means (depending on which of the above advice you agree with):

Always think about what you're optimizing for, but also don't ignore your heart if it is pushing you one way.

I heard a GP at a tier one venture capital firm say: "all bad career decisions I made with my head, all good ones I made with my heart."

How can I filter my list of companies, like an investor might?

Think about defensibility. Think about network effects. Think about how fast the market size is growing.

Post by Albert Wenger in 2010: Google Buying Groupon is a Flawed Idea

Second, Groupon’s business model does not seem super defensible. People who want deals will generally go look for them. And businesses that want to offer deals will do so on any channel that will let them. This suggests that the price for connecting a deal searching consumer with a deal offering business should get driven down quickly and that ultimately this will be a performance based market. Deal aggregation or search (e.g., Yipit) would seem to be a better model and one that fits more naturally with Google’s DNA.

Think about how fast revenues are growing, and be skeptical of what method is used to report revenue.

There's a big difference between revenue, booking, run rate, and so on.

Additionally, early revenue growth is not the be all end all of measures! Be skeptical of The Breakout List!

To prove that point, Zynga and Groupon had much faster revenue growth in year 1 and 2 than Google, Facebook, or Amazon did.

Researching companies

Ask friends and friends of friends.

You might have some luck researching salaries or what it's like to work at a company on Quora or Glassdoor.

How to ask friends about companies?

You should take the same approach used in good reference checks. It might seem harsh/blunt, but after all, this decision will end up impacting where you spend the majority of your waking life.

For example:

How would you rank this company relative to others you've worked at in terms of day to day enjoyment?

What is an example of something that makes you think the company is going to do really well?

When has something bad or frustrating happened at work? What happened?

Who are some of the other smartest people who work there? What is impressive about them?

See this post by Elad Gil and repurpose it for working out if your friends think their company is going to do well.

Step 5: Applying

How should I track my applications?

Use a simple Quip document or spreadsheet.

Are you a non-technical person?

Read these posts. Honestly, you should read them even if you are an engineer and the company is desperate for engineers. It never hurts to be better, especially at a startup.

Breaking Into Startups

How I Hustled to Get the Perfect Job

Shoot for the job you can’t get

What should my resume look like

Check out this. It's aimed at college students, but it's still very relevant.

Do it in LaTeX or at least use a nice looking font. At many places those things matter. Apple's Pages.app has some nice templates.

New: check out our software engineer resume checklist.

Should I try and wow them?

Yes. Especially if you tried and they didn't bite.

Some companies are more receptive to this than others, but at worst it will definitely get your application read.

Especially useful for non-tech roles at competitive companies, or for tech roles at super competitive companies.

See for example:

Katie Loves Airbnb (Katie currently works at Airbnb)

I'm ready to apply

Ask a friend who works there for an introduction, if possible.

Otherwise, go to their website and apply.

Alternatively, find anyone's email address and send an email to one person at the firm. Make sure you write this email as if they are a person! People often seem to forget that there's a person on the other end reading the email.. If it's a competitive position, there's no reason it shouldn't read more like a cold email to someone you want to meet than a random pitching of your resume. A good test: would you reply if you were busy as shit and worked there?

Write your email concisely. Assume they are really busy. Make it short. Then, have someone proof-read it, and make it shorter.

They didn't get back to me

Wait 10 days, and then apply again. Repeat.

Especially for smaller companies, many don't run tight recruiting funnels. They sometimes let candidates slip through the cracks.

You could just say: "Hi xyz, just wanted to ping. If there are no open roles, no worries, I would just love to know either way."

Just because they sometimes let candidates slip doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad company, by the way.

This is obviously a much smaller issue at larger companies, like Google and so on.

I'm really struggling. I don't have much experience, and I want to be able to work for a great company

A few ideas:

Build something interesting for the Hacker News or Product Hunt audience.

Put a note down the bottom that says "contact me here, I'm always interested in new opportunities". You could also write "please hire me," although that would be a little desperate.

Alternatively, reverse engineer the advice given to companies! As an example, you could look for companies hosting Meetups and attend (just chat with people, don't be desperate, like with dating!). Comment on their engineering blog posts with a response. Go to hackathons, and go to engineering conferences.

Step 6: Interviewing

There's enough on this elsewhere. Go search Quora.

If you really want a few suggestions, check out Guidelines For Interviewing At A Startup.

Step 7: Deciding

Firstly, avoid deciding before you need to. For example, say you have applied to two companies, and have an offer from one, but are waiting on the other. Don't stress out about the decision too much until you get the second offer!

Getting good data

Don't just trust what you see when you interview. Just because a firm has hard interviews, doesn't mean they have the best people! Many companies exploit this tendency to associate hard interviews with strong teams. It's sometimes true, but it's far from a guarantee.

Talk to people who work there. Have a drink with them, even. Try and get good honest opinions.

Give companies a chance

Here's a scenario. You have offers from company a, and company b. Company a told you some of their metrics, and they are doing extremely well. You love the team, the mission, and the product of both company a and b.

Company b didn't show you any metrics. You're thinking you're going to accept the offer from company a.

Wait! You didn't ask company b! Don't irrationally remove an option. If you're leaning one way because you lack information about another choice, seek out that information rather than discarding the choice.

Comparing salaries and equity

What are the typical amounts of equity offered to engineers by startups of different sizes?

Wealthfront Startup Salary & Equity Compensation

AngelList Salary Data

Understanding options and equity

Read the following:

(Not so) Scary terms in offer letters

I have a job offer at a startup, am I getting a good deal? Part 1: The offer

I have a job offer at a startup, am I getting a good deal? Part 2: The company

Understanding Equity Compensation and What it Means for Startup Employees

The Lemonade Stand: How to Value Your Private Shares

Valuing Employee Options

The one number you should know about your equity grant

Employee Equity is Broken, Here’s Our Fix


Employee Equity: The Liquidation Overhang

Focus on your share price, not your valuation

Why you don't want to be a unicorn

Things you should know about stock options before negotiating an offer

Recommendations on understanding options from Josh Elman

Employee Equity is Broken, Here’s Our Fix

Recommendations on understanding options via a question from Justin Kan

Open Guide to Equity Compensation


patio11 on salary negotiation


Decision exercise

When you ask other people what you should do, try and notice what you are hoping they will tell you to do!

Repeat steps 1-5.

Optionally, think like a VC.

Read Bill Gurley's thoughts on marketplaces. Gurley is a venture investor at Benchmark, where he led Benchmark's series A investment in Uber.

Read Sequoia Capital's notes on business plans and the elements of enduring companies.

Read Marc Andreessen on the only thing that matters for startups.

Read Sam Altman on the importance of companies attacking markets that are growing quickly.

Read Paul Graham to identify relentlessly resourceful founders.

Read Andy Rachleff on value hypotheses and growth hypotheses.

Read Peter Thiel and Michael Mauboussin on defensibility and moats.

Step 8: After getting hired

Doing well

If you're working as a PM (or just want to be a better customer facing dev), check out this guide to product management.

Post by David Teten, Top 9 Easy Career Hacks That Most People Don’t Do

I agree with Brad Feld: Most people flake. If you’re not a flake, you are far more likely be trusted, promoted, and funded. If you execute on the steps below, you’re well on your way to being a top quartile performer.

Post by Jason Calacanis, The most important piece of advice for folks starting their careers

Great CEOs obsess over their high performers. They like to talk to them, they like to mentor them and they like to challenge them. Once you prove yourself, it’s time to reap the benefit of being a hard worker with massive skills and the ability to learn new ones.


Post by Babak Nivi, AngelList new employee reading list

I do the onboarding for all new AngelList team members. Part of it is asking them to read the following (many candidates have read these before they even come in for an interview).

Maybe even read a few entrepreneur biographies. They'll help you understand how your CEO is (hopefully) thinking.

Try Made in America by the founder of Walmart or Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance, for example.

The long game

Post by Dave Zohrob, Don't put your career in stealth mode

Key takeaway: Once you get hired, make an effort to spread what you are learning and building.

I think this is a great point. If you occasionally blog about what you've been learning, or open source a small module, great things happen.

You become a more interesting person (at least in the context where most people will research you, i.e. online), and you contribute knowledge back to the world.

Of course, this can do great things five years down the track when you are thinking about your next move.

... I spent most of my time from 2007 through 2011 writing thousands of lines of code, powering apps used by millions of people.

Now, most of that code is dead. Thousands of hours of my life, literal years of work—gone.

Post by John Lilly, Go Long

Think about your tribe, and be aware that life is generally best played long.

It’s not transactional. It’s not about this funding round or that deal or this other distribution hack. It’s about making huge differences over a long period with the people in your crew, your tribe.

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