My First 6 Months in a (Perth!) Tech Start-Up

Coffee and glasses

Disclaimer – It’s highly likely that I’m not going to tell you anything in the next four paragraphs that hasn’t already been covered a multitude of times on some entrepreneurial blog or is being discussed at your local start-up weekend water cooler right now.

So why is my story different? (and maybe even vaguely useful) Maybe because I don’t have a natural entrepreneurial streak. I’m far from the smartest guy in the room and as HealthEngine employee number 32, I’m not going to make any rich list any time soon, or ever, probably.

I am one of the many people who have spent the last 15 years working in ‘corporates’, wondering if there was something better, but then being grateful for what I had and putting my head back down. But the feeling was still there. Could I work somewhere that was really doing things differently, that was breaking new ground, where jeans were the corporate wardrobe? Somewhere I could turn up and do what felt right (rather than what some policy or process told me was).

What I’ve seen so far -:

Being the least smart person in the room is a little scary but the best personal development tool I’ve seen. You either force yourself to keep up, adapt and develop or you drown.

It’s a cult. It has to be. Without irrational passion and a shared single minded determination, the hill is just too steep. If blind commitment isn’t for you, neither is this type of environment.

Doing something that you get you excited between the hours of 7am and 7pm also makes the rest of life more enjoyable. I’m fortunate that I don’t work 20 hour days, so I can take some of the enjoyment I’m getting from work, home with me. You hear people say “I don’t take the burdens of my job home with me at night” like that situation is a good thing, shame really.

Gut feel is amazingly effective. I’m not sure why we lose the confidence to go with what feels right when we enter a ‘big’ business, but it happens. I did it for years. When you don’t have the luxury to use the crutch that is computers full of data you fall back to logic, instinct and the advice of others, and it works.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work. Stability is a non-existent concept. But that’s the exact thing that makes turning up interesting.