Advice on evaluating job offers from pre-seed startups?

Hi elpha!

I'm looking for advice on how to evaluate job offers (technically full-time consulting gigs with potential to turn full-time salaried) with pre-seed startups. I currently have two in hand and am struggling with my decision.

For context, both have strong founders with missions that strongly resonate with me. Any tips for evaluating offers from startups at this stage beyond looking at (1) founders; (2) product; (3) role / salary; (4) funding? I know I should also "trust my gut," but my gut keeps taking me back and forth!

In case it's helpful, both are in the same industry and targeting the same users, and my role would be the same at each.

Would be grateful for any advice / factors I might be overlooking. Thanks!

tanmayisai's profile thumbnail
That sounds like a tough choice! Congrats on getting both offers!!I've used this as a framework before:https://blog.efounders.co/considering-joining-a-pre-seed-venture-read-this-first-3e564c1983fAt least to me, the manager is a big factor. If you see a difference in the 2 managers and see who might be a better advocate for you, that might be a deciding factor as well
laylalynn's profile thumbnail
I recommend trying to gather as much information as you can about the recent business and product decisions the founders/company has made. Are they on a steady course, or have they been pivoting to something new every 2-3 weeks because something is "not working" or an investor/advisor told them to try something different? The goal with a startup is to eventually gain some stability with their revenue model so as to not be totally reliant on funding/runway, and while obviously agility is key in the early stages, if you see the company constantly shifting focus that may be a red flag that they have more "shiny object syndrome" than a more solid revenue/product plan and target market. That could be a helpful deciding factor for you and make you feel more comfortable with your selection!Best of luck, and congrats on both offers!
chenangela's profile thumbnail
Congrats on the offers 🎉🎉I would emphasize asking about 4) funding. Get to know who the investors are / if proven investors are backing the founders. Also, gut check if you believe the founders are able to raise $$ in the future to keep the business going.