Quick introductory disclosure: I hold no feelings against the corporations I am going to mention in this blog post. My feelings are based on the number of employees, size of company, and other things that don’t directly influence how the companies are run.
First of all, I personally love working in start-ups. The atmosphere in the start-up environment is fun, exciting, and you work closely with a great group of individuals. For example, Qik (the company I work for – see my Colophon for the full disclosure) is a start-up that streams live video from the latest mobile phones (Nokia S60 series, Windows Mobile, and iPhone OS X) to the internet with almost no delay. (Although I am an employee of Qik , Inc., I was a user before I was hired, and my views have never changed since I became an employee.) In comparison, a colleague of mine just started working for Yahoo! three months ago, and he does Operations there. After 3 months of working at Yahoo, he got to see the data center. At Qik and other start-ups, it takes about a day or less then a day to get inside the data center – which shows how closely the members of a startup work together. One attribute of working at smaller startups that I like is that you don’t need to go to a separate building or pick up the phone to talk to a co-worker – most people are in the same work area. At Qik, most of the time we just yodel (thank the thesaurus) over to the next desk.
Another very key thing that keeps me away from working at large corporations is features and ideas. With start-ups, once you have an an idea, all you need to do is say that your going to do it, and just work on implementing in. With large corporations, you have to submit a feature request, wait until it gets approved, then wait for the “Project/Product Manger” to tell the developers what to work on, which can take months! Start-ups are much more focused, and know what their goals and ambitions are. Big corporations know what they want to do, or should I say the Project Manager does. With start-ups, there isn’t in the development team in early stages a “Project/Product Manger” who tells the development team what projects they should channel their efforts towards.
All in all, what I am trying to say is I like to know everyone who I work with, not be seperated into one of a vast number of departments. If I work at Yahoo!, I highly doubt I will know all the 15,000+ employees, but in a smaller company like Qik, I know everyone on the team. What is your opinion? Would you rather work in a startup or a large corporation? Share your thoughts in a comment below.