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Growth as a Technical Co-founder

I have been running my startup as a data lead for 4 years. We have been funding through service work. The work that has been done has not been challenging enough for my growth that I feel my professional development has stopped. I'm looking at taking a break from startup life and get into employment so as to grow.

Any technical founders here who have experienced this and how did you tackle it.

iynna's profile thumbnail
Hello! Sorry to hear you have been feeling a bit stuck and the work hasn't be as challenging as you'd have wanted it to be. I'd however argue that your experience running your own show, and company will make you stand out to some degree! I wonder if you could go work for a growth stage startup that has a bit more stability and that growth component where you can still be entrepreneurial while growing professionally (instead of going to a very established company)?
Thanks for this. This is a better way of looking at it.
dz's profile thumbnail
I had a similar journey. My biggest surprise was that when I went to bigger companies, my growth was primarily on the communication and people front. No matter how technically good you are, you can't succeed unless you learn how to navigate a large org.I'd say my growth was 30% technical and 70% comms. Valuable experience if you want to grow in those ways!I had a friend who also went from founder to employee via an acquisition. He had a lot more influence in his new org, so if acquihire is an option for your startup, even if it's not a big huge sum, that's a solid career trajectory where you don't have to spend time climbing the ranks or playing politics.Good luck, keep us updated!
Interesting perspective. Thanks. Will keep you updated
katiegandomi's profile thumbnail
It may depend on what areas of professional growth you are looking to develop. There are definitely many advantages of working in a larger org especially when it comes to working with big teams and managing greater resources ! At my company, I started to feel like my technical growth was starting to lag since my day-to-day work became more focused on managing developers instead of writing code full time. What ended up working for me was to set aside a few hours every week to just work on exploring a technology or tutorial that was interesting to me ! I also keep my eyes open for any workshops, courses, or online competitions (like Kaggle) to participate in every so often.
Thanks for this. My problem with exploring technology is that I believe I learn best if I get to take solution to production. Most tutorials or blogs only talk of the basics of the technology. People rarely talk of production use cases. Do you have any suggestions or how to overcome this?
katiegandomi's profile thumbnail
Hummm, it probably depends what you mean by taking the solution to production. For little projects, you can always take them all the way and get them deployed for real people to use, for example if you're exploring Swift you can put the finished app on the App Store for people to download ! Or if you're working on an AI model, you could create a little chrome extension and make it publicly available.For large scale production deployment, it may be difficult to get that experience from tutorials and small scale exploration. In this case, working with a large org, can be advantageous and give you more experience in this regard !