The Differences Between Working at a Startup and a Corporate

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Things change fast and you have to be on your toes

At Geektrust we help companies that are building really interesting products hire great technologists. From IoT to deep analytics to health care devices for the future, there are companies that work across domains and technologies. So we have a good idea of what these companies do. I hesitate to call them “startups” because the general perception is that there are only 2 extremes of startups — those that rake in billions in investment and those started by your neighbour’s nephew and his Engineering friends.

The truth is there are a lot of other companies building world-class products in India. They don’t get the attention from mainstream media because media only covers the massive funding related news. You may not have heard of INBE, CropIn, Sahi Pro, Quintype or Infratab, but the work they do is new and exploratory — not your standard stuff. If that excites you, go check out some more companies here.

Being a tech startup ourselves, we’ve had a chance to reflect on our past careers in the corporate world and compare it with what we do today. Here’s my take on the major differences:

  1. At startups you solve real problems impacting hundreds of thousands of users. You get to see the impact of your work first hand in real time. Working at a corporate, you’re usually far removed from your end users.
  2. You need what I call a ‘deep thinking’ mindset. While experimenting and speed are important, the ability to think deeply (first principles) and getting to the root of the issue is critical.
  3. You learn a lot more on the job. “I have not done it before” is not a reason to not try something new. You will have all the freedom to explore and hopefully you’ll relish those challenges.
  4. Things change fast. And this could be in tech, product features, funding, scale etc. If you are someone who does not like to be on your toes, you should not consider startups.

To reduce risk to the developers who are registered with us, we make sure all the companies we work with have enough financial depth, and will not ask you to take a pay cut. Most of them will pay above market salaries. These companies know that technology is their secret sauce and are willing to pay for good devs.

If you have questions about startups or anything at all, feel free to write to us at

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