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Playing safe, or going after a bigger game?

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MaryZ

New Contributor
Sep 5, 2021
4
3
11
Hey!
I joined an early stage startup a few years ago, which grew and I got to an executive role. I still have quite some time to fully vest but...I recently got an offer to jump to a similar position in another startup - that is 3x bigger, with a much bigger TAM, and a really exciting product vision. I'm sold on the opportunity, but they are avoiding the options talk and I wonder it it's not a 'shiny new object syndrome' - I got a bit bored where I am now, but I will be pivoting and learning completely new skills in a few moths. In the new role, I'd need to run the same playbook as before, hire a new team, and build the processes from scratch. Having a hard time deciding if I should go after the big unknown (I think it will be unicorn in a few years) or play it safer(-ish...you never know...dunno if I can cash out in the end.)
 
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Mac

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 10, 2015
249
382
195
25
Avoid basing your decisions around vanity metrics like total addressable market.

As far as I can see, in the startup world, "TAM" is the latest fad metric that's swindling investors out of their money.

I'd be more concerned with:
1. How much runway they currently have
2. Is there real demand for their product already? Have they achieved product-market fit?

To be honest, this is outside of my circle of competence but I'd gather more data points about their company before committing to anything drastic.
 

MJ DeMarco

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So much more data is needed to make a decision...

Chances of success...
Product strength...
Competitors...
Size of job offer...
Benefits...
Burn rates and time to profitability...
Company vision... (IPO? sell?)
Intangibles... (job experience, networking, commute, etc.)
Industry data/stability/etc.

Sounds like a job for the WADM matrix.
 

MaryZ

New Contributor
Sep 5, 2021
4
3
11
Avoid basing your decisions around vanity metrics like total addressable market.

As far as I can see, in the startup world, "TAM" is the latest fad metric that's swindling investors out of their money.

I'd be more concerned with:
1. How much runway they currently have
2. Is there real demand for their product already? Have they achieved product-market fit?

To be honest, this is outside of my circle of competence but I'd gather more data points about their company before committing to anything drastic.
Hey Mac! Cheers for the reply. They do have a PMF and are fully bootstrapped, with nearly $7 million ARR. But I decided against it as it would be a step back for me in terms of learning. I'd be mostly replicating what I have already done, at least for a year. Plus - there was the culture fit. Their Head of People was undermining me (a bad negotiation tactic) and I felt I don't want to deal with this lack of trust.
 

MaryZ

New Contributor
Sep 5, 2021
4
3
11
MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 967507" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
So much more data is needed to make a decision...

Chances of success...
Product strength...
Competitors...
Size of job offer...
Benefits...
Burn rates and time to profitability...
Company vision... (IPO? sell?)
Intangibles... (job experience, networking, commute, etc.)
Industry data/stability/etc.

Sounds like a job for the WADM matrix.
Cheers MJ, good points, I didn't include them all here as I didn't know who's lurking. Love WADMs btw.
 

Mac

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 10, 2015
249
382
195
25
Hey Mac! Cheers for the reply. They do have a PMF and are fully bootstrapped, with nearly $7 million ARR. But I decided against it as it would be a step back for me in terms of learning. I'd be mostly replicating what I have already done, at least for a year. Plus - there was the culture fit. Their Head of People was undermining me (a bad negotiation tactic) and I felt I don't want to deal with this lack of trust.
Ah, good old frame control. Well glad you trusted your gut on this one!
 

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