Startups. Cool products, remote working, dogs in the office, ping pong tables, trainers and checked shirt combos, free breakfast and good coffee whilst surrounded by oodles of innovation and brilliant brains. It’s no wonder that they’re are all the rage right now.
From the outside, this work hard/play hard game wrapped up in quirky branding gives much to be desired. On the inside, there’s still all that workplace stuff that everyone hates. It’s just that it’s the startup version. So it’s ok, right? Wrong. Here’s a selection of things that people who work in startups do that if you don’t laugh at, you’ll cry.
1. Storm around the office like an important hurricane, carrying an open laptop in one hand and a KeepCup (full, courtesy of the latest organic coffee subscription service) in the other. Time is important, and it must be optimised. And people must know that your important time is being optimised. So stomp loudly because after all, he who stomps the hardest leaves the biggest footprint on the company, right?
2. Set their Slack status to a super cool and fun emoji that really does just sum up their whole personality. Dinosaur? Edgy. Elephant? Traveller. Cat? Psycho. Popcorn? Banter.
3. Send emails to the social team (cc’ing in their boss and their boss’s boss) about that super-hot-right-now influencer your wife saw on Instagram, putting forward a hugely detailed case study about how you think this would be a great opportunity for the brand if we could somehow collaborate with them. Cue an email from the boss’s boss saying, “great work, Finance Analyst. Social team, can we jump on this one as soon as?”
4. Be a vegan.
5. Laugh uproariously and fire off a departmental email when someone sends work in Microsoft Word. This the future, mate, we use Google Docs now. This company needs real work with real impact arriving in real time. This is collaboration. We’re all collaborators. Are you not collaborative?
6. Bring back some form of sticky snack from a recent exotic expedition to remind everyone of how cool, successful and brilliant of you it is that you and your fianceé just spent three weeks hiking, biking and kayaking in Peru. No one wants your cultured cashews Brian, we can go and buy our own in Tesco.
7. Write everything in lowercase. There is no TIME for punctuation when you’re disrupting the world of [INSERT ‘ALREADY-RUNNING-QUITE-SMOOTHLY THANKS’ INDUSTRY]. Plus, disrupting the grammar rules is cool and edgy too, is it not? All the young people on Twitter are doing it. And all the smoothie brands are.
8. Sport facial hair and/or a man bun.
9. Send emails to the marketing team about how [INSERT OTHER COOL STARTUP HERE] is ‘hacking growth’ right now, so you thought you’d share some of the top tips your PR friend Lucy heard at one of their events last night and Whatsapped you this morning. Cue an email from the boss’s boss saying “great work, People Manager. Marketing team, can we jump on this one as soon as?”
So, still fancy it?