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top 6 questions people fail to ask when joining a start-up

Dharmesh has written an excellent article on top 6 questions people fail to ask when joining a start-up. His top 6 questions are as follows:

  1. Will the founders get along when the going gets tough? 
  2. Will you get along with the team?  
  3. What’s the history of the basic idea?  What other ideas were assessed and discarded?   
  4. How much cash is there, where did it come from and how long will it last?  
  5. What are the founders looking to get from the effort?  
  6. What will the startup do for you?  

Prior to setting up ebdex, I also joined a start-up business. During the build up to joining, I worked with their CEO who painted a pretty picture. I joined the company as an investor employer. However, I did not invest before completing my own due diligence. Fortunately, my stay within the start-up did not last that long as I did not go ahead with the investment. Here are my top 6?

  1. Do much due diligence as possible. Given it is a start-up, you will not find much information in the public domain. At least visit the Companies House and purchase a copy of whatever was filed with them.
  2. Irrespective of the role you are applying for understand the market and industry the company operates in. You should not join a company that does not have clear differentiators; written down vision, mission and value statements. Ask for their competitor details. Do your own market research to ensure the company has a good chance of achieving their strategic plan.
  3. Get a copy of the business plan. Make sure you get a copy of the business plan. You may have to sign a NDA before you get your hands on company’s business plan.
  4. Ensure company has sufficient funding. All companies irrespective of their size need cash to operate. Ask for a copy of the cash flow forecast and management accounts.
  5. Do you like the team? Ensure you speak to the full team. There will be significant problems if you cannot get along with the team, especially with the founders.
  6. What do you want out of the start-up? Ensure that the company is able to deliver your own requirements.

Share your top 6!

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