“Take a fling on a startup. Experience will be invaluable. If it fails, you will have gotten valuable training for your next job.”
Dr. Mike Stonebraker, Founder and CTO, StreamBase Systems
- Professor at MIT
- World’s foremost pioneer on RDBMS; founder of INGRES, POSTGRES, Mariposa, Illustra
- 2005 IEEE John Von Neumann Medal Winner
- Computer Reseller News Top Five Software Developers of the Century
- Forbes Magazine: Top 8 Innovators
- 1992 ACM System Software Medal, 1994 ACM Innovation Award
I was recently dialoguing with Mike and he provided this great career tip. His tip resonates with me since with startups you develop a multitude of deep skills. You have an opportunity to be involved in all stages of technical development, within a framework of project management, collaboration and integration. Moreover, you can develop a business plan with: executive summary, vision, mission, smart [specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound] objectives, tactics, business opportunity, market size, business model, target markets, delivery models, product/service, technology, management team, competitive landscape, SWOT analysis, marketing strategies, revenue model, financial projections, investment usage, profit estimation, asset estimation.
You receive deep insights into leadership, business strategy, financing, branding, and marketing. I have been involved in many over my career and several even in the past year. It’s a great environment to sharpen your skills and it is one area recommended by Gartner to build your versatilist skills (multiple “deep” skills combined with business knowledge).
If starting a new venture interests you, I have a podcast I did last Friday with legendary Silicon Valley entrepreneur and now Venture Capitalist, Guy Kawasaki. Guy provides some great tips on startups, and also on blogging.