Terminated at 8 months – 2nd employee

I was a senior SME engineer in a well funded startup for 8 months. Delivered multiple critical features to get company through Series A as we were non-revenue generating.

CEO/CTO are both engineers/not people managers and very much ICs in terms of skillset. After COVID and move to remote, visible CTO stress levels have continued to raise as he struggls to maintain an aligned team. Additionally he works non-stop in an IC engineer capacity (including coding on the weekends).

About a month ago, he began having shows of anger at the team in public and private. In our next 1:1 he began raising his voice and acting inappropriately at me and I needed to have a heated argument with him to see this was not okay. I brought the obvious public behavior up to him (not directed at me) and he thanked me and acknowledged. Afterwards the team/public atmosphere with the team improved in however, the next 1:1 was a repeat of him raising his voice and using heavy blame based verbiage for what is menial engineering discussions.

I brought this up to the CEO, who saw some of the things I described, said we'll get through it together, times are stressful, but nothing personal. However also turns out CTO has been sharing concerns behind the scenes as of late, but nothing other than 'get more work done'. CEOs solution is just that – for everyone to get work done and that will make everyone feel better (namely CTO). Now, CTO has been having me look at highly ambiguous rushed features/critical fixes but also slightly randomizing me everyday with new critical priorities. I clearly communicate my status, blockers and focus each day in standup. CTO begins shies away in 1:1, simply listens to me, minimal responses, nods head. A week ago I directly ask the CTO if we are okay and everything is good.

Suddenly come in to being fired in my next CTO 1:1 with no emotion. Have conversation with CEO after the fact who says this was in works for about a week based on perceptions from CTO about me being defensive about feedback among other minor things. CEO was clearly uncomfortable and seemed to be scrambling for vague reasons. He self-admits they made a mistake if a written performance plan would have conveyed this.

Was given a few weeks of pay (if I sign a release) but looking at complete loss of seed equity. This hit me like train and I clearly put to much faith in leaders without track records of team building, but are experiences like this normal?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

“4 week” Side Hustle that took 4 months 🙈

On May 21st, my partner called me very excited with a product idea that we thought would only take 4 weeks…

4 months later, we’re finally launching it today!

Building always takes wayyyyyyy longer than you expect.

Let me know what you think: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/wfh-wakeup

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

McKinney Innovation Fund Draws Hundreds of New Jobs, 11 Tech HQs in Eight Months – dallasinnovates.com

McKinney Innovation Fund Draws Hundreds of New Jobs, 11 Tech HQs in Eight Months  dallasinnovates.com
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Xbox Series S appeared in the background of Phil Spencer interviews months ago – Best gaming pro

Xbox Series S appeared in the background of Phil Spencer interviews months ago  Best gaming pro
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Snyk bags another $200M at $2.6B valuation 9 months after last raise

When we last reported on Snyk in January, eons ago in COVID time, the company announced $ 150 million investment on a valuation of over $ 1 billion. Today, barely nine months later, it announced another $ 200 million and its valuation has expanded to $ 2.6 billion.

The company is obviously drawing some serious investor attention and even a pandemic is not diminishing that interest. Addition led today’s round, bringing the total raised to $ 450 million with $ 350 million coming this year alone.

Snyk has a unique approach to security, building it into the development process instead of offloading it to a separate security team. If you want to build a secure product, you need to think about it as you’re developing the product and that’s what Snyk’s product set is designed to do — check for security as you’re committing your build to your git repository.

With an open source product at the top of funnel to drive interest in the platform, CEO Peter McKay says the pandemic has only accelerated the appeal of the company. In fact, the startup’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) is growing at a remarkable 275% year over year.

McKay says, even with the pandemic, his company has been accelerating adding 100 employees in the last 12 months to take advantage of the increasing revenue. “When others were kind of scaling back we invested and it worked out well because our business never slowed down. In fact, in a lot of the industries it really picked up,” he said.

That’s because as many other founders have pointed out, COVID is speeding up the rate at which many companies are moving to the cloud, and that’s working Snyk’s favor. “We’ve just capitalized on this accelerated shift to the cloud and modern cloud native applications,” he said.

The company currently has 375 employees with plans to add 100 more in the next year. As it grows, McKay says that he is looking to build a diverse and inclusive culture, something he learned about as he moved through his career at VMware and Veeam.

He says one of the keys at Snyk is putting every employee through unconscious bias training to help limit bias in the hiring process, and the executive team has taken a pledge to make the company’s hiring practices more diverse. Still, he recognizes it takes work to achieve these goals, and it’s always easy for an experienced team to go back to the network instead of digging deeper for a more diverse candidate pool.

“I think we’ve put all the pieces in place to get there, but I think like a lot of companies, there’s still a long way to go,” he said. But he recognizes the sooner you embed diversity into the company culture, the better because it’s hard to go back after the fact and do it.

Addition founder Lee Fixel says he sees a company that’s accelerating rapidly and that’s why he was willing to pour in so big an investment. “Snyk’s impressive growth is a signal that the market is ready to embrace a change from traditional security and empower developers to tackle the new security risk that comes with a software-driven digital world,” he said in a statement.

Snyk was founded in 2015. The founders brought McKay on board for some experienced leadership in 2018 to help lead the company through its rapid growth. Prior to the $ 350 million in new money this year, the company raised $ 70 million in 2019.

Startups – TechCrunch

I just found out an app exists that is 90% similar to the idea I’ve been working on for months

So I’ve had an idea for a couple years that I recently decided to actually pursue. I’ve built a brand, website and have put a lot of time and some money into it. To my knowledge, there was no service or app for what I had in mind and it’s an industry I am very passionate about so naturally I was very excited.

Today I discovered an app that was launched in Feb of this year that does pretty much what I was planning on doing, just a little more basic and a few less features than I had in mind. The app is something I’d probably try to use myself if I wasn’t trying to pursue my own. I felt crushed. Of course I thought of just scrapping it and moving into the next one, but this is what I want to do with my life and I genuinely care about it; wether I make money or not. I think I’ve convinced myself to keep going and just be better/different than them but it’s still bothering me.

Does anyone have any similar stories to tell? What did you do? How did you deal? Do you move on? I’d love to hear some experiences that might help me gather myself back together.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!