Investing (your life) in a startup


Startup Spotlight: Mattermark (Part 2)

Recently, I spoke wrote about my decision to join Mattermark. The company is insanely awesome and I believe in its chances of growing into a $1 billion beast.

But there's more to it than that. When you're looking for a startup worth working for, you have to think about yourself. Ask, "Will this role take me a step closer to where I want to go?" You'll get a step closer to your goal if you learn relevant skills you don't currently possess. If the answer is no (and you're young), it doesn't matter how great the company is. Walk away.

Learning about myself

Sales isn't for me. Not now.

I spent a year in SaaS sales and got bored quickly. After a certain point, I felt like I was solving the same puzzle repeatedly; understand the problems and meet the needs of the people you want to buy your service. It's an incredible challenge, but I was looking for a bit more variety.

Almost by accident, I fell into marketing.

Every day for 6 months, I ran tests to determine where to get a high volume of quality users to sign up for the workout app I was a part of building. It was brutal on days my tests failed, but on days they worked, I felt like a king.

So when I heard that the marketing role at Mattermark would challenge me to be both creative AND analytical (with a bunch of variety), the decision was obvious.

Reaching career goals

I plan to spend my life working with smart entrepreneurs who are hell-bent on changing the world. I see two obvious paths to that goal: Venture Capital or Operating Startups. To be great in either realm, I need to build out a unique, valuable skillset. And that brings me to my two selfish reasons for joining Mattermark:

Reason 1: I get to report directly to an entrepreneur with the skillset I intend to master.

Not to mention, she grew the Twilio community from 0 to 100,000 developers.

Reason 2: I get to accelerate my Venture Capital network-building process since Mattermark is a product that targets VCs.

I don't know how long I will live in California. It could only be for 2 years. It could be for 10. I can't even tell you where I will be living when I move there in a few days (Craigslist here I come). What I can tell you is that when I move back east, I will be bringing a dense network and a badass skillset with me.

Get new essays by email.