Why Didn’t I Join Your Startup? And What Works In Hiring

Original Illustration

Share, don’t preach your vision

Something I’ve been asking myself is: If this startup were to crash and die in the next two years, where would I be? The truth is that most venture-backed startups fail. Almost 90% of Series A funded startups fail to exit. So would I still be living a fulfilled life taking less pay, more hours, and higher stress?

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

A Marie Kondo Principle

Perhaps this is a little disappointing, but after thinking long and hard about why I liked the places I liked, and why I made the decisions I made, there wasn’t a clear, definite set of principles that showed me what was the right choice. Absolutely, having people reassure me that I would be in the right place to grow, to be supported and welcome, to succeed and accelerate, was important. Absolutely, having people with a strong background and supportive attitude for a new engineer was key.


Take aways

  1. Not every candidate that is a fit for your company, your company is a fit for that candidate
  2. Aim to be the best fit by guiding your candidate to see your world, not telling them how you see it
  3. Take every interaction as an opportunity you have to show your candidates your world can be their home

Shout outs

I’m set for the (near) future! I couldn’t have written this without getting over hundreds of road bumps along the way though — so here’s a quick shoutout to some people who helped me get through it.



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Christopher Chen

Christopher Chen

1. Tech. Maybe it's stockholm syndrome, but coding is fun. 2. People. What makes you tick? 3. China + East Asia. What freakin' cool place.