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Startup Facts vs. Fiction: Navigating Lies from the Truth

There’s a lot of information out there in this big, wide world. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Believe none of what you read, half of what you see, and none of what you hear,” more than a time or two. That phrase couldn’t ring any truer than it does for today’s article. Today, we are going to discuss some of the common misconceptions people hear about startups, and separate fact from fiction. 

Without further ado, let’s jump on in.

Myth 1: You Won’t Get Paid Well Working with a Startup

We are going to kick this article off with one of the most common myths about working with a startup: the pay rate. Contrary to popular belief, most startups pay quite well. Whoever said they didn’t pay great probably never worked for one and simply developed this opinion on their own. 

Honestly, most startups pay well above minimum wage, and offer competitive rates to their employees and contractors. We say contractors because many startups offer positions remotely to independent contractors who don’t work directly for the company, but rather, for themselves as freelancers from home. The rates are sometimes even better for contractors, due to the fact that they need to pay their own taxes so the extra helps to make up for that. 

Most startup employers realize it’s completely unfair to shorthand the ones who are helping to get and keep their company running – and they want to properly compensate them for a job well done.

Myth 2: 90% of all Startups Shut Down within the First Year

Again, there is a lot of information out there on the internet. Many websites will tell you that 90% of Startups will fail. While it’s true that many can and will fail, there is a great many startups that succeed more than there are startups that fail. 

Startups aren’t about being the first to do something. They are simply the ones who choose to do that thing bigger and better than the original. Think of them as a well-polished, refined copy of the original. They exist to provide better solutions to pre-existing problems, and if they are able to offer that solution in an innovative, better way, they can definitely succeed. 

Many startups shut down because of a lack of funding – but with crowdsourcing platforms and other investment opportunities that are available in 2020, there are more helps than ever for small startups and more opportunity for these companies to thrive, succeed, and grow as they should – as long as those in charge are willing to put in the work that it takes, their employees and contractors are doing their due diligence, and things are moving along on an upward trend rather than downward or even staying the same.

Myth 3: Working for a Startup Isn’t a Real Job

Say what? Working for a startup is about as real as it gets – and as awesome as it gets, to boot! Startup life requires going in to work, putting in effort in whatever department you work in, and doing it well, just like any other job. 

On the plus side, working with a startup is generally much more relaxed and enjoyable, and it can almost feel like you’re being paid to have fun! Many startup environments are extremely casual, friendly, creative and filled with personality. They feel more like a hangout rather than an office. And most people who work for them highly appreciate these things about the workplace, and generally love their jobs. So, while it’s definitely real work, it can quite honestly feel like a whole lot of fun in between. And, we don’t hear anyone complaining about that.

Myth 4: All Startups Are Owned and Operated by Young College Kids

While it’s true that many startups are owned and operated by young minds, it’s also very true that many startups were founded by people far older than college aged. A study completed by the US Census Bureau and 2 professors at MIT show that the best age to found and begin a startup is 59 years old. A 59-year-old founder is 4.5 times as likely to create a successful startup than is someone in their 20’s. How’s that for motivation and food for thought?

There are all sorts of people on a startup team, and their ages and experience levels vary greatly. It’s like working anywhere else. You never see just young high-school aged kids working in a grocery store, do you? There is always a decent mix of older and younger and somewhere in between. The same goes for pretty much every job – including startups – worldwide. 

The more experienced someone is, the more life they’ve lived, the more lessons they’ve learned, the better capable they are to run successful companies – which is why it makes sense that the older you are, the more successful your startup will be.

Myth 5: Your Job Isn’t Secure

Here at Unicornboard, we have heard this one more than a time or two. Do you know how incredibly untrue this is? There is so much job security within startups – and rest assured that the jobs you see posted on our website are from reputable companies that we know have been around and will continue to be around for a long while to come. Your employment is safe with these companies. 

Myth 6: You Work Far More Hours Than You Would in a ‘Regular’ Office

While it can be true that you may work long hours in a startup position, chances are very likely you won’t be working any more than you do in any regular office job anywhere else. The reason why people seem to believe this is, startups actually offer more of a flexible schedule, allowing people to come into work far later than the norm, and leaving far later as well. 

Many people have odd hours while working with startups. Some people might even work overnight – but that’s only because they choose those hours. Some contractors who work from home and are employed via startup companies are happy to work late hours into the evening. Many of these contractors are stay-at-home-moms, or college students looking to make some part-time income. They relish in the opportunity to work at 9:00 at night after their kids have gone to bed, or after just having gotten home from class. 

Startups provide some really unique opportunities for people that most people just can’t find anywhere else.


Myth 7: It’s Scary and the Expectations Are Too Great

This one is laughable. The fact that someone could think or assume a startup is a scary place to work is downright silly in and of itself, but the fact that people think the expectations are too great is nearly hilarious. The only reason a startup is scary to some is that it’s a newer concept. Some people don’t like change, and they don’t like new ways of doing things. Due to that, it could certainly appear to some to be daunting and fearsome, but rest assured, it’s all good. 

As for the expectations being too great: the expectations are actually far less than those you’d experience while working in a large corporation or normal office setting. Most of the founders are super friendly, understanding, and don’t want to overwhelm their employees and staff. They hire plenty of help to keep the workload light, and keep things fair for all. 

Trust us when we say, the expectations are light and it’s a great environment to work for all. 

What are some of the crazy myths you’ve heard about working for a startup? Do you have any assumptions or questions you’d like to discuss regarding working with a startup? We would love to hear all about it! Feel free to leave us a comment and we will do our best to respond!