Where and how do startups work?

Friday, June 18th, 2010

There was a great article in the Business Insider earlier this week about the Startup Eco-System. The stats about the employment landscape and how startups work caught our eye. So if you are interested in working for a startup, listen up:

80 percent of start-ups have seven or fewer employees

We should note that it’s unclear whether this means full-time only, or whether it includes part-time, interns, contractors etc. We know of one awesome startup in NYC that has 22 staff members, 12 of whom are interns. Where would those folks fall in the chart? Not sure.

Close to 45 percent of startups in both NYC and Palo Alto are run out of people’s homes.

(And yes, we’re aware that there are many hotbeds of startup activity between the two coasts, but hey, we didn’t create this report—we’re just reading it.) If this stat doesn’t scream a reliance of virtual resources, we don’t know what does.

Most startups are operating on a lean budget.

43 percent of startups are pre-revenue, and another 36 percent are below $250K in annual revenue.

Rent is one of their biggest costs

The average rent per month per employee in NYC is $733, followed by $475 in Palo Alto and $500 in Boston. Again, virtual workforces are looking mighty attractive when looking at those numbers.

Takeaways for part-timers and interns?

Be on your A-game; think like a founder. We’ve talked about this before. Assume that for any startup, they are moving at the speed of light to make their product the next thing since sliced bread. They are looking for highly talented, highly motivated, and highly passionate people to help them grow their businesses.

Don’t be greedy. If you’re less than thrilled with your pay, know that if you do your job well, and contribute to the company’s growth, you’ll be rewarded – perhaps by a full-time job or a raise when the company meets its milestones. The worst thing that can happen is you make best friends with the CEO and s/he recommends you for your next gig.

Find ways to help the business cut costs. Many times it’s people at the entry level that are closest to the daily costs of the business. Do you think you could: be emailing more than faxing? do without the daily cookies? switch to a cheaper email marketing platform? Suggest it. They’ll be happy to take it into consideration!

And as we talk about all the time, be open to a virtual or semi-virtual gig. It works for you (assuming you like your couch), and it works for them (assuming they figure out how to manage you).

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