Canaries in the gold mine

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I’m not sure if I’m lucky or cursed, but I lived and worked through the Internet Bubble of the late ’90s. Back then people were leaving established companies for startups. If you asked them what they were going to be doing, they’d smugly reply, “they’re going public in June.”

I did time in startups back then, one of them turned out to be very successful. Unfortunately, the last one I was at of that era wasn’t.

Let my wisdom be your guide and see if the startup you’re working at is a Unicorn, or Unicorpse.

Signs your startup isn’t doing as well as you thought

  • The only thing left to drink is Diet Sprite.
  • You get random emails Slack messages telling you to avoid non-essential travel despite being a desk-bound developer.
  • They stop watering the plants.
  • Your CEO has time to update the blog, hourly.
  • Acronyms like LTV, CAC, and DAU and switches to MLM, BYOD, and BYOB.