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What happened

This is definitely a “me” post. I want to keep a trace of what I was thinking about during this period.

Byebye startup life

Until last week, I had a very couch job, managing a small team of data scientists (and one machine-learning engineer) in a fintech startup. On a typical week, I would probably put in 5-10 hours of actual work.

Just like this guy 😂:

Mind you, the team was performing really well and everyone in the company was happy with us. We did after all deploy a highly successful commercial AI-based product that customers were very happy about.

In the beginning (a few years ago) I was working real hard. All the time. But I didn’t have any equity.

That’s right, I was working in a startup, just for the salary. Why? Well, other than because of being a naive dummy, it was also because I was a believer. I believed in the purpose of the company, I believed in the long game, and I believed that I would ultimately be given my fair share.

I have to give them (the founders) credit: they played their cards very well and close to the chest. I was seduced allright!

And so like every other dummy walking the Earth, I only realized what happened after the movie ended, i.e. after the founders got their exit, and I got squadoosh. Well technically, I got a little tap on the back ($-wise) but compared to the value that I created and also compared to what I would have gotten had I negociated for myself, it was laughably small.

So there’s that. Perheaps more importantly, I was also starting to get bored with the projects at the startup (data-wise) and doubtful about the runway of the company. I just couldn’t figure out what else we could do beyond our current projects.

Looking forward

I did try to apply here and there in the past few weeks, unsuccessfully. And then a recruiter from a big (really big) Nasdaq-listed company reached out. I decided to play along and do the (6!) interviews, not expecting anything out of it, mostly because of the caliber of the company, but also because it was for a technical role (whereas I’ve been managing/scratching-my-ass for some time now).

But somehow I did well on the interviews, and they offered me the job!!

Needless to say accepted it. Of course, I didn’t negociate anything. Hopefully someday I’ll learn how to do that. Still, financially speaking, the offer is very attractive, especially compared to what I see out there for someone with my skills/experience.

But what made the decision even easier is the following:

  1. the variety of challenges this company has to offer

  2. it sounds like they are very well structured when it comes to rewarding above-average performance (bonus, stock refresh, team mobility)

  3. the name of the company itself; everyone knows it

Head out of ass

I have a month off in between jobs and I find myself having negative thoughts about what happened in the startup and how I allowed myself to be taken advantage of.

I hate being in this mindset and I need to snap out of it and move forward.

Hence why I decided to write this. It’s time I focus on what matters and do well by family.

May the power of Li Lu and Charlie Munger be with me! One day, my time will come.


Until next time, stay cool & stay invested!