A perspective of working in the Startup world for 8 yrs

8 yrs have passed since I quit my corporate job to start a career in the startup world. In these 8 yrs, I have founded 3 startups and worked in 3. Some of the time I have spent doing miscellaneous projects.

But what a rewarding journey it has been. It's not that I have earned a lot of money or a lot of respect or recognition. I am still a pretty unknown and normal person. But the experience of all these years is something I cherish. The most important thing I have learned is that you have to solve problems and not get bogged down by them. The other is to stay positive in whatever situation you are in, things do improve.

I have made a lot of friends at this time and experienced a lot of different challenges that aren't there in a 9-5 job. I have been bruised, hit hard, but appreciated also. Is there a discontent that I couldn't make it big and earn a name for myself? Would I have been happier if I had achieved "externally" a lot more? I don't know. But I don't feel unhappy at this time.

I am not an expert in any field. More like a jack of all trades, but that is okay. I can learn more about each field as I go along. Also, I can hire specialists to do the job for me.

In the end, I will say It's been a hell of a ride. A lot of my beliefs have been shattered, a lot of new beliefs have been formed. And I try to keep an open mind.

Edit: Mods pls remove this if not relevant.

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

Top Countries Who Embrace Working From Home As The New ‘Norm’

With businesses across the world seeing the tangible benefits of a mobile workforce over the last few months, returning to the office may become temporary as working from home potentially becomes a new way of working, according to research collated by Instant Offices.

Countries Leading The Remote & Flexible Work Trend

To find out which countries are currently leading the concept of working from home as the new ‘norm’, Instant Offices have revealed the top ten below:

 

Countries Leading the Remote & Flexible Work Trend

Click to enlarge // © Instant Offices

 

Research shows 80% of workplaces in Germany now have a flexible work policy in place. And where 68% of workers consider this the new normal, a remote German workforce could become a reality sooner than we think, and there are many countries who could follow suit, including the UK.

In response to how the workforce adapted during COVID-19, Germany’s Labour and Social Affairs Minister has revealed plans to present a bill granting all workers the ‘right to work from home’ by law. At the same time, politicians are calling for more tax advantages for employees who work from home, such as the ability to deduct 20% of warm rent from income tax.

In the UK, employees may have a legal right to request flexible working under the Employment Rights Act, however, the trend has not been embraced in UK workplace culture like their European counterparts have. Post-COVID-19 has seen sentiments shift, however, and if a “right to work from home” law comes into place, it could see a rise in productivity, benefitting both employees and businesses.

A UK survey showed that 65% of workers are more productive in home offices than at their regular offices. 83% of workers feel they don’t need to be in the office to be productive, and two-thirds of employers agree, reporting increased productivity among remote workers.

Major Businesses Leading The Way

Several major corporations have been adopting policies that allow employees to work from home. For example, Amazon and Microsoft employees have the option to work from home until October, while Google and Facebook workers have the option until the end of 2020. Some businesses are looking further ahead, and Twitter has offered its staff the opportunity to work from home permanently.

As these international businesses begin to navigate the benefits and challenges of working from home, we could see workplace strategy shift towards a more flexible strategy on a long-term basis.

John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices commented,

“We’ve seen in recent years how flexible working can have a positive impact on talent acquisition and retention. We’ve also noticed a significant increase in demand for the opportunity to work from home, particularly from working parents looking to return to the workplace. Considering these trends, it’s reasonable to expect that the right to work from home could help businesses to retain more diverse talent, save on turnover costs and enjoy the benefits of a happier, more engaged workforce.”

 

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StartUs Magazine

How do you guys balance working on the different layers of your tech stack?

I use Go, Typescript, and Python for my app. I usually dedicate weeks at a time to different parts of the app so transitioning working on a different layer feels weird.

How do you guys balance working on the different layers of your tech stack?

Do you dedicate days to different parts or …? What do you do?

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

What advice would you give someone who is considering working at a start up? What questions should a potential employee ask before signing on?

I am not sure if this is the correct place to ask these questions, but I have been working at a large corporation for most of my career. I was recently introduced to a person who is running a startup, and we set up a time next week to discuss an opportunity there. What questions would you want answers to if you were considering such a dramatic career change?

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

Working to understand Affirm’s reported IPO pricing hopes

News broke last night that Affirm, a well-known fintech unicorn, could approach the public markets at a valuation of $ 5 to $ 10 billion. The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, said that Affirm could begin trading this year and that its IPO options include debuting via a special purpose acquisition company, also known as a SPAC.

That Affirm is considering listing is not a surprise. The company is around eight years old and has raised north of $ 1 billion, meaning it has locked up investor cash during its life as a private company. And liquidity has become an increasingly attractive possibility in 2020, when new offerings of all quality levels are enjoying strong reception from investors and traders who are hungry for equity in growing companies.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


But $ 10 billion? That price tag is a multiple of what Affirm was worth last year when it added $ 300 million to its coffer at a post-money price of $ 2.9 billion. There were rumors that the firm was hunting a far larger round later in 2019, though it doesn’t appear — per PitchBook records — that Affirm raised more capital since its Series F.

This morning let’s chat about the company’s possible IPO valuation. The Journal noted the strong public performance of Afterpay as a possible cognate for Affirm — the Australian buy-now, pay-later firm saw its value dip to $ 8.01 per share inside the last year before soaring to around $ 68 today. But given the firm’s reporting cycle, it’s a hard company to use as a comp.

Happily, we have another option to lean on that is domestically listed, meaning it has more regular and recent financial disclosures. So let’s how learn much revenue it takes to earn an eleven-figure valuation on the public markets by offering consumers credit.

Affirm’s business

Affirm loans consumers funds at the point of sale that are repaid on a schedule at a certain cost of capital. Affirm customers can select different repayment periods, raising or lowering their regular payments, and total interest cost.

Synchrony offers similar installment loans to consumers, along with other forms of capital access, including privately-branded credit cards. (Verizon, TechCrunch’s parent company, recent offered a card with the company, I should note.)  Synchrony is worth $ 13.5 billion as of this morning, making it a company of similar-ish value compared to the top end of the possible Affirm valuation range.

Startups – TechCrunch

How to Structure Your Day When Working from Home

Up until recently, working from home was almost taboo. It was a luxury. Only a small percentage of very trusted people and freelancer’s enjoyed this freedom. But, the worldwide COVID epidemic has made the old luxury — the new normal for thousands of people. Here is how to structure your day when working from home.

How how you done working from home?

Some, have embraced working from home — and they have thrived. Others, not so much. I’m not passing any blame here. Getting used to working from home and your new schedule will take time to adjust to. And you had to adjust mighty fast as things shut down.

If there’s something you’re still, struggling with, here’s the best way that you can structure your day when working from home.

Find your most productive hours.

Here’s the best thing about working from home, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule. The caveat? You must determine when your most productive hours are. An issue to consider, right now, is that you have to do a little bit better balancing act.

If you’ve recently made the switch from the traditional 9-to-5 workday, knowing your most productive hours may seem odd. However, thanks to ultradian rhythms (and many other productivity tips we have on Calendar) — we can teach you how to find your “best” time of day. different times of the day when alertness, energy, and focus are high. Hence this explains if you’re a morning bird or night owl.

Now, you may have an idea of when these hours are. I mean if you’re an early riser and ready to tackle your work in the AM, then that’s a sign that you’re a morning person. If it’s the opposite, then you wouldn’t want to force yourself to work on your most important task before the sun shines through your curtains.

Not sure when your most productive hours are? No worries. Here are some strategies you can try to find out:

  • Track your time for a specific period. Ideally, you want to track your days for around a month to get a more accurate picture.
  • Use the right tools. A simple pen and paper method will suffice. You could also create a spreadsheet. But, there are also digital tools like RescueTime, Clockify, Toggl, ATracker, and Calendar that can do this for you.
  • Maintain your time log. There are two ways to track your time. The first is by the time of day. For example, you can write down everything you accomplished in a specific timeframe and how you felt. The second is by the task. Here you would note when you started an activity and when you moved on to something else.

Whatever tools or methods you use, be honest and consistent. You should also record your data in real-time. And, try to be as meticulous as possible.

Start the day right.

I know that the first step to starting your day right involved a little elbow grease. But, from here on out, it’s going to be much easier to plan out your day.

Regardless if you wake-up at five am or noon — if you want to have a productive day, you need to establish a morning routine. While the exact activities can vary, the idea here is to let your brain know that it’s time to get down to brass tacks.

What should be including in this ritual? Well, here are some of my personal favorite techniques:

  • Plan the night before. You don’t have to overthink this. Just simply jot down the three main things you want to accomplish tomorrow. You could do things like reviewing your calendar and prep your meals.
  • Wake-up feeling refreshed. Get enough sleep, preferably between 6 and 8 hours. And, if possible, try to wake-up naturally or use an alarm clock. It’s a simple way to avoid looking at your phone first thing in the morning.
  • Focus your mind. I like waking-up prefer everyone else to take advantage of the peace and quiet. I then use this time to exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, read, and write in my journal.
  • Set a daily intention. It’s been found that writing down your goals enhances your achievement of them.
  • Have a daily affirmation. “Affirmations are short, powerful yet simple statements intended to help you manifest a particular goal,” writes Choncé Maddox. “This is power is positive thinking and it only takes a few minutes to recite some positive affirmations.”

Another suggestion would be to create a daily compass. These are any activities you should check before jumping into work. For instance, you might want to check your email or Slack messages to make sure that the afternoon meeting hasn’t been rescheduled.

I also strongly suggest that you get dressed. And, I would also remove distractions like turning off your phone before starting your workday.

Have a dedicated workspace.

There’s a belief that when working from home you’re just plopped on the couch all day. That’s not exactly the most productive environment to work in — what with distractions like the TV, kids and housemates.

In a perfect world, you would have a swanky home office. You know, like all of those amazing pictures you’ve seen on Pinterest. The reality is that most of us don’t have such a luxury. But, at the very least, you should have a quiet space that’s dedicated to work.

Make sure that you have all the tools you need and you keep it free from clutter. And, if you work from the same place daily, it gives you some much-needed structure.

Add work blocks to your calendar.

“A more tactical piece of advice, particularly if your work situation had regularly provided this structure for you, is to use your calendar as a friend in helping you manage your time,” suggests Vivian Nunez, founder of Too Damn Young. “Setting work blocks on your Google Calendar and color-coding them to match different projects or tasks will give you a visual cue for the way time is breaking down for you.”

But, let me go a little more in-depth here. Remember when you determined when you were most productive? You would block out those times for your most important work.

Let’s say that you’re peak performance hours are from 9 am to 11 am. You should reserve that time period for your most important or challenging task of the day. By adding that to your calendar, you’re ensuring that something that’s less important will occupy that slot.

Furthermore, time blocking untangles your mind and helps you identify your priorities. And, you can even use this strategy to create buffers between tasks and block apps when you don’t want to be interrupted.

Give yourself permission to take breaks.

Data from NordVPN Teams found that remote workers in the U.S. increased their average workday by almost 40%. That means we’re adding an extra three hours to our workdays!

“The data as well revealed that employees are starting work earlier, but finishing at the same time,” said Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN Teams. “This is perhaps because people are not commuting, and instead of sitting in traffic, they choose to work.”

That’s just not going to fly. Putting in more hours may work right now. But, eventually, you’re going to burn yourself out. That’s why taking frequent breaks is essential.

Whether if you use the Pomodoro Technique or follow the 52/17 Rule, make sure to give yourself a breather. You need this downtime to recharge and refocus.

And, here’s the best part. You can spend this time however you like. If you want to go for a bike ride, take a nap, chat with a friend, or watch a TedTalk, that’s your provocative.

Enforce boundaries.

“If this is your first time working from home and you still haven’t found a routine that works for you, then you might find you’re just as distracted as you were at the office,” writes Laura Martisiute in a Calendar article.

“From loud kids to a chatty spouse to household duties (doing laundry never seems so appealing as when you have to write a boring report), it’s critical that you learn how to overcome distractions when working from home,” adds Laura. The key is to let others know your schedule.

In my experience, sharing my calendar is the most effective way to do this. When my family can see my schedule, they know when I have meetings and focused on deep work. On the flip side, they also know when I’m available to spend time with them.

Make time to socialize.

It’s not surprising that remote workers struggle with depression and loneliness. It can also be difficult to commute and collaborate with your team members. The solution to both? Block out time to socialize with others.

Now, in a non-COVID world, you could meet up with others at a coffee shop or conference room. But, the way things are now, you’re going to have to rely on tools like Slack or Zoom. Just be mindful of your usage as there is such a thing as Zoom fatigue.

Set an end time and stick to it.

Another way to prevent working too much is to establish a stop time. More importantly, though, you need to set up a routine to help you transition from work to relaxation.

Similar to your morning ritual, this can vary. But, here some ideas to help you wind down:

  • Clean out your inbox.
  • Organize your workspace.
  • Create a to-do-list for tomorrow.
  • Send a “goodnight” message to your colleagues.
  • Log out of your work accounts, like Slack.
  • Turning off your computer.
  • Reflect on what you accomplished.
  • Have a mini celebration, like going for a walk or putting on your sweats.

It may be tempting to worry about work. But, like breaks, you need your evenings to rest and recharge.

Example of a structured WFH workday.

  • 6 am – 8 am: Exercise, breakfast with family, get dressed, and review calendar.
  • 8 am – 9 am: Write in a journal, catch-up on emails, update social media, and check-in with coworkers and employees.
  • 9 am – 12:00 pm: Deep Focus on your top priorities.
  • 12 pm – 1 pm: Eat lunch with family, go for a walk, check inbox.
  • 1 pm – 3 pm: Deep Focus on second priority.
  • 3 pm – 3:30 pm: Have a video call with your team.
  • 3:30 pm – 5:30: Work on your third most important task of the day.
  • 5:30 pm: Wrap up whatever you are working on and wind down.

I usually try to get a couple of hours of work done in the evening after relaxing for a couple of hours. These hours have turned out to be quite productive, as well. You have to be flexible enough with your work schedule to add and subtract your times to meet the situation.

If your kids are kind of wild between nine to noon in the morning — get up at five and get your work done then. Don’t sit at your desk from 9 am to noon and scream at everyone to shut-up because you are working! Written here is the ideal work from home schedule.

But, please, change your schedule to fit your situation — and make this time of COVID better than ever.

How to Structure Your Day When Working from Home was originally published on Calendar by .

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