Guys, how have your experiences been working at bootstrapped vs VC funded startups?Is there vast difference work, culture wise.
06/17/2022, 4:13 AM
Bootstrapped startups usually are extremely conservative with their money. They want their money to go as long as possible for them.
Expenses are curtailed and purchases need to be essential.
This may not be true for bootstrapped companies who are very profitable (some time down the line).
VC funded startups by definition need to spend money (the VC has given you money to invest and grow the company - not to keep in the bank). So more often than not, the founders are under pressure to actually spend the money (might be different in today's scenario) -- but VC funded startups will usually have better gear and higher salaries.
I have worked in both startups. Bootstrapped startups are more fun if you are part of the founding team and really believe in the mission. So the frugality does not sting as much.
VC funded startups are more luxurious as an employee -- but you also have far lesser control on the direction of the ship (unless you are a founding member and not an employee -- and even then, a lot of decisions would need to be vetted by the board).
The most fulfilling probably would be to work for a bootstrapped startup that is quite profitable and is no longer in the preserve cash mode. (But I am over generalising).
06/17/2022, 7:28 PM
I'll add to @loud-glass-33663's point from a different angle,
Bootstrapped companies tend to be default alive and VC backed companies tend to be default dead.
This might not sound relevant, but it has a lot of consequences on your experience.
In a default alive company, product features and new product lines are typically better researched.
As a consequence, your work's value and goals are clearer. Your work tends to be thrown away less often.
When market conditions shift, you'll often find chaotic cultural shifts in a default dead company. Default alive ones will be less extreme in their reaction.
Zooming out a little, I feel like growth, profitability and leadership's attitude play a bigger role in culture than bootstrapped vs VC funded.
There's definitely generalisations but for meaningful decision-making they're not very useful.
Eg: if you want to figure out whether you'd work for a specific company, you'll have a better time deciding based on those factors and conversation with existing employees.