Friday 31 December 2021

What are the pros and cons of working at a startup versus working at a big tech company?

 I am the founder of a Startup whose clients are large enterprises. Therefore, I have seen both sides of the table.

Whenever 2 large categories are compared, it means that both are good, just that some people prefer the first, while others prefer the second. Here, “working at a startup” and “working at a big tech company” are both large categories and a large number of people are on both the sides. Hence, clearly, there is no direct winner. It is a matter of one’s preference.

Pros of Startups

  • Lots of learning experience: I think this is the biggest thing startups offer to their team members. You get to learn a bunch of stuff in a short span of time.
  • Larger ownership: If the startup is doing well, ESOPS help in building ownership and sizeable wealth creation. You get an ownership of a meaningful chunk of work.
  • Culture: Startups often have a flexible culture. For instance, many startups allowed work from home even before COVID.
  • Growth: If the startup is growing fast, it pulls everyone’s career growth also much faster. That helps an individual grow ranks in a shorter span of time.

Pros of Big Tech Companies

  • Better fixed salaries: Most large companies offer better fixed packages than startups. Startups counter this by providing variable pay and ESOPS.
  • Better policies: Larger companies have structured programs and policies and have often lesser working hours as compared to startups.
  • Brand name: A larger tech company can provide a better brand name to one’s career.
  • Perks and benefits: Startups typically don’t have as many benefits as larger giants. However, with more venture capital coming into the startup ecosystem, this is gradually changing.

Clearly, there is no “winner”. Its a matter of one’s preference. If you are someone who wants good perks and benefits, for you, a Tech Company might be better. If, on the other hand, you are someone who is looking for more ownership, a Startup would be a better choice.

It is similar to Apples and Oranges comparison - some people may like Apples more while others may love Oranges. Both fruits are great and there is no direct comparison.

At Cogno AI, we are proud to say that we provide a mix of both - Startup culture and flexibility and a large company’s policies and perks. We recently got acquired by Exotel and therefore, Exotel has extended many of their policies, perks and benefits to our team members. So, our team members enjoy the benefits of both Cogno AI being a smaller startup and Exotel being a larger tech company. BTW, we are hiring :)

So, to conclude the answer, one must understand their own self, and then decide which is better. Both career paths are great. Both have their own benefits and downsides.

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