Levels.fyi Community
jsauwse in  
Product Manager 10 months ago

Transition from Startups to Big Tech, worth it?

I'm about 3 years into my PM career, first ~2 at an early stage startup that didn't pan out and currently ~1 year at a later stage startup. Current company was acquired after I joined for a modest amount by an established private company with no plans to go public.

I've been interested in joining a big tech company for a while now due to larger total compensation packages that seem to grow substantially as you advance. And for a more balanced life that isn't your typical startup grind.

My questions are:

1) If you've made the jump from startups to big tech or vice versa, what have you liked or disliked?

2) With your current knowledge, would you have done anything differently in your career path?


5
2016
19g618l1f9qk7mProduct Manager 10 months ago
Hi, I've been in product for over 10 years and worked at pre-seed startups to mid-sized to FAANG. And yeah, there's a bit of difference in the opportunities + compensation. 1. I liked the rapid pace of learning and the "just figure it out" mind-set at midsized startups. I excelled in that environment and was able to grow my career really quickly as well as my base compensation. But! You are mostly learning tactical skills. Bigger companies let you spend more time focused on strategic work as a product person. 2. Yes. The earlier the startup the more you're gambling on future stock payout. Generally these kinds of roles are the blind leading the blind, so while you might feel like you are doing a lot, most of it is non-effective work. A friend of mine got really lucky in that one of his pre-seed startups that he worked for eventually got purchased by a major fintech and he got an amazing payout. I didn't find that lottery ticket. 3/3 my early stage start-ups went bankrupt or burned down or the founders where assholes, or a combination. Now that I know I'm a more risk-averse person, I would have just skipped those experiences and the anxiety and stress that they caused. But if you have a high risk tolerance they can really work out... if you're lucky.
7
jsauwseProduct Manager 10 months ago
Super helpful, thanks for sharing!

About

Public

Product Manager

Members

9,547