Startups · Entrepreneurship

Will startup founders hire you if you are for short term -1.5 years?

AKSHAY DUDANI Full Stack Web Developer

March 9th, 2016

I want to do startup of my own. But first I want to get experience from another startup for 1 or 1 n half years. Will any startup hire me?
Should I tell my future plans of starting up to them? If Yes, then how to convince them I'll be a great employee.
Please  give details.

George Parrish Founder/President

March 9th, 2016

It really depends on what your skill set is comprised.  If you come in and tell me you are the "only person in the world that can do this", I'd want to hear what it is that makes you so special.

But if your skill set falls into the same set as 10,000 other Entrepreneurs, I'd have a hard time hiring you for an hour and a half, much less one and a half years.

Go find an Intern position where you can help a developing startup position themselves in the market.  Who knows, you might/might not find that this whole Entrepreneurship thing is/isn't your thing after seeing it up close.

Judith Hurwitz President & CEO Hurwitz & Associates

March 9th, 2016

Building a startup is complicated. You first have to have an idea compelling enough that it can stand the test of time. You definitely need to gain experience in the market. I would not go into a new job assuming a one year stint. Go in with an open mind. Can you grow within that organization and bring your idea in-house? If after gaining some experience you might find that an employer will want to partner with you and help you build -- especially if you tie into their ecosystem. There are many ways to be successful with a great idea. Ideas are only as good as how they are executed.

Chris Owens

March 9th, 2016

I would imagine it would give them pause to hire you, yes.  But let me ask... why 1.5 years?  Why not 2 years or 1 year?  How did you arrive at that amount of time?


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March 9th, 2016

Will startup founders hire you if you are for short term say for 1 and half years? If you are joining just to gain experience in the startup world and process?

First of all, startups, if they are honest with themselves, have defined the skills and experience needed to make their startup a success. If you have a proven skill or ability that the startup group needs but does not have onboard, of course a startup can and perhaps would hire you.

I would not, however,  declare that you want to be a part of their team to gain experience and when you do, intend to go your own way.

Startups are in themselves a brand new and uncharted business direction and the people in them are also learning the ropes as they go along. They are not "teachers', they are risk takers. They want commitment to the risk being taken from the folks they bring on board and saying you want to gain experience and stay for a short term won't get you hired.

Nope, saying you want to join up to get experience is the last thing a startup wants to hear. Because the road map to success is so vague and often quite scary, they need folks with appropriate experience to join them long term who share their vision and won't "quit and run".

Now, alternatively, if short term is your intention, 
  • offering your services as a contractor can make sense if you have what's needed by the startup 
  • but again, don't expect to be hired if you say you want to gain experience in the startup world. 
  • They are not teachers, they are serious folks taking a chance on making a new venture work and they need all on board to be doing exactly that.

Sriraman Chakravarthy Founder & Director at Metamorphic Networks P Ltd

March 9th, 2016

I think working with the start up will give you rich experience. But they should find you directly useful to their business. then they will hire. 
Yes you should be truthful to the potential employer and there is nothing wrong it and it is a sign of good professional value and conduct. 

whether it is 1.5 Years or 5 years you should add value to their business and during that period your professional Goal need to be aligned with them and dedicated in your service. this will be my advice

Vipul Jindal

March 9th, 2016

This really depends on the outlook of present founders. In general, people who are looking forward to short stints at startups to learn are in general more productive than their counterparts who want a comfortable life and want to stay in a company for lifetime. I think if you have a clear idea about how you will contribute to a particular company, you should definitely go ahead and talk about your future ambitions and life goals. Hope this helps. Sent with Mixmax

Dennis Charlebois VP Product Operations at Hexis Cyber Solutions, Inc.

March 9th, 2016

As someone who has worked in Silicon Valley for 20 years and run several startups, I have a couple of thoughts/suggestions;
- If you told me you were going to start your own company within the next couple of years, I would not hire you. Why should I invest in you just to have you leave.
- Unless you have broad operational experience at a regular company (which it appears you do not), you may want to consider more time gaining relevant experience in an existing company. By doing so, potential investors will be more likely to fund you and/or less likely to put their own operational management in place. Also, working for a company almost always changes the vision of how you get your own company off the ground. Remember that 8 out of 10 startups fail, many of them because of the inexperience and unrealistic expectations of the founder(s).

Pedro Gigante Aspiring Growth Hacker - Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer at WPensar

March 9th, 2016

Also asking how you got to 1.5 years...
I would hire if I had a project you could fit and help a lot. If you are a superstar cheaper than they can get.

Also, you can be a 10% entrepreneur, as my friends book (

Stephanie Thompson Principal Recruiter at DreamBox Learning

March 9th, 2016

I often hire people who clearly state they want startup experience because ultimately they would like to try their hand at it someday.  However, there is much to be learned.  A year or 2 may not tell you what you need to know to be successful on your own.

Ted Cohn COO/CTO Entrepreneur

March 9th, 2016

I have to agree with @Christopher on this. An early hire is a real silver bullet for a startup. While hiring firms like to think of people as expendable, it's not true. Early staff is critical to a new startup's success. They have greater vested interest in you than more established firms that can better handle employee churn. I could be wrong but if I were hiring I would probably pass on you as an employee given your short term outlook. However, if you are a contractor who will not earn equity, that's a different story. And finally, if the startup is acquired within 1.5 years, then it doesn't matter so much, but that seems pretty rare and no one can know that up front, not to mention folks are often expected to join the parent company after a buyout.