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Startups vs banking from a former Techstars COO and Lazard Salesperson

Startups vs banking from a former Techstars COO and Lazard Salesperson

So you have seen the movie social network and think you can make a Mark Zuckerberg and build another Facebook easily?  So you are tired of the investment banking finance world but you think you can easily make it in startups as an entrepreneur. Don't be fooled, startups are for no softies, and it's probably not for you.

A Risk so big you cannot comprehend

If you are not on the founding team in a startup the chances of you getting rich easily are close to zero. The risk of you leaving a comfy finance job where you get to move from analyst to associate and to vice president with a constant salary is the good life compared to being in the trenches of a startup.

The founding team

Unless you have thought and created the company and the idea with your partners the chance of you getting founders equity is also close to zero. These are the only guys that are really going to "make it" if the company does well. You may get lucky and be one of the first employees of the company that does IPO but the chances of that are also minimal. Trust me. A career with a bank is easy compared to your chances of really making it big in tech, so stay where you are.

The first employee

Take less of the risk and become one of the companies, first employees. This would still make you lucky if the company does well, but don't get fooled again, your equity will be vested over 4 years, you will work your ass off, and in addition to all of this, you need the company to do extremely well for you to get anything out of it. Compare this to a nice chunky bonus at an investment bank and this is all peanuts. You may think that your investment banker job is hard. However, its not only easy because you are in fact taking less risk, it's even harder to leave and come back again.

Stay Put

Realistically you think starting and building a company is easy and nothing can be as hard as banking, but you are very wrong. Building a billion-dollar startup is all about being in the right place at the right time with the right people. Building a company is not only about being a smart person but a ton of other things and it may just be easier for you to get home at 10 pm and get up at 6 am again, cause at least you know the paycheck will always come in on the same day.

This is what we ended up building - you may think its easy - but I cannot tell you just how hard it is to go up against billion-dollar oil companies like Shell Tap up. They will burn you in seconds to win the race.

Lessons learned from Building Europe’s first OnDemand fuel station from its COO
Before Shell tap-up and Cafu and others, we built Europe’s first on demand fuel station. We saw the future, we had an amazing team and we were ready to go. I was the COO of pompfuel and we were there from the start.

Checkout our startups jobs board here if you want to work in a startup:

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