There once was a girl in corporate
With work restraints tight as a corset
So one day she said
I may work till I’m dead
But to grow old in this office…fuck* it!
*When used emphatically, this word rhymes with anything. True story.
Upon moving to San Francisco, the “start up” was a mythical creature that in my mind, ranked second only to Disneyland (only, for lack of giant purple turkey legs). I’d conjured a crazy idea that start ups were fun places with free snacks and yoga balls, probably some Segways, guys that look like this:
…and other cool shiz like that. As enticing as this life sounded, I was determined to stick to my corporately laid and beaten path to avoid total assimilation to the Yuccie culture that defines my comically gentrified ‘hood (I’d like to put some cash monies down that soon enough even the burrito joints will top their nachos with artisanal cheeses).
Soon after my curiosity to explore greener and more unconventional career grasses struck, my dream opportunity presented itself. Naturally, this opportunity happened to be at a start up and you better believe that I snatched that -ish up faster than Twinkies at a Weight Watchers meeting.
Starting my new job at Stitch Fix, I came to learn that the reality of start up culture is defined by free snacks and yoga balls, some Segways, guys that look like those above (except these dudes generally don’t bare their undies in the office unless it’s a particularly casual Friday, dUh)…and a lot of other cool shiz like the universal popping of IPA bottle caps at exactly 4pm on any given Friday, an enclave of engineers upstairs who share a singular name and favored meme, important 7am emails that a bagel spread is awaiting your arrival, and most importantly, doing the brunt of your work from The Big Comfy Couch.
Although I’m not entirely opposed to the Blue Bottle on tap, I’ve discovered the most remarkable and rewarding aspect of a start up to be the innovation and work necessary to keep the machine well oiled and chugging along smoothly. Starting from the bottom, getting “here”, and staying “here” takes a collaborative and passionate effort; Although running a corporate hamster wheel measures less taxing than pushing what sometimes feels like a boulder up a hill, being part of a people impassioned to see something succeed is a work perk of its own.