Things to consider when joining early stage startup

Hello Elphas. I am in the beginning stages of talking to the CEO and other C-suite execs about being the 17th hire in an early stage startup. I have no frame of reference to compare with so I thought I'd tap into the power of this community. Please help me with one or both of these questions:

(1) What are some critical things you'd want to look out for if you are considering joining an early stage startup? Questions to ask, things to observe, red flags to avoid, etc?

(2) Same as question as (1) but are there even more critical things to look out for as the product management hire?

Thank you so much in anticipation of all your great responses!

tanmayisai's profile thumbnail
Good luck in the process!1) I would put on an early stage investor hat, and try to ask those same questions. Look at the founder's vision and really evaluate based on the team 2) The first PM is a challenging role if you're the first one. Here is an article that has resonated with me: was the 25th hire once and the only PM, and the key there is to really get along with the founder/CEO as they've been playing the PM role till then.
Thank you very much! You've given me a lot to consider.