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How To Prepare To Leave Big Tech For A Startup

If you’re like Rahul, you were intent on leaving the bubble of Big Tech to pursue the startup life for a long time. If you have 6 months or 1 year left working in an established company, what can you do in anticipation of your startup journey?

One of the best things you can do is validate the idea of your startup with a side hustle. Be careful that you’re not using company time or resources or you may later get sued.

Generally, there are 3 types of projects an engineer can work on:

  1. A project purely for learning, to try out some technology or framework that may have come out recently.
  2. A small business. Also known as an indie business, a micro-Saas, or even something as simple as selling a digital product like an eBook.
  3. A VC scale startup. This should be reserved for very few companies. When you take venture capital money, they are looking for a massive return on investment, something like 50x or 100x. That means you’ll be accountable for strenuous growth targets.

Whichever path you choose, go in with your eyes wide open about what your motivations are and whether you’d be happy signing up for the likely outcome.

An input into the decision about when to leave the Big Tech life is to look for some indication of commitment for the customers you’re serving. Are your customers offering you their time, money, or reputation for your product? That’s a promising sign.

Another reason to leave is that you feel that there’s a narrow period of time when your idea could succeed, e.g. new regulation or a groundbreaking technology.


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