How To Get A Job At A Startup If You Have No Skills?

Interesting article on TechCrunch from Justin Kan.

“Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was interested in doing product management at a startup. He was working as a consultant, but wanted to join a company like foursquare as a PM. However, he wasn’t getting any return calls and was becoming frustrated, and wanted my advice on why. I told him this:Guess what? Everyone thinks they are the next Steve Jobs, but they aren’t. The odds are you aren’t God’s gift to product design. And even if you are, no one will be inclined to believe it, because you have no evidence: you’ve never 1) started a startup, 2) worked at a startup, 3) worked in product management, 4) designed products as side projects. All your experience is in another irrelevant field; why should a successful startup give you a chance?”

See more here supports Jobzippers Entrepreneurial Speakers Series

Jobzippers Entrepreneurial Speakers Series (JESS,, sponsored by CTI, Mannequin Labs, Novartis Venture Fund and, aims to explore how entrepreneurship can become a conscious career choice.

On 30th November, 25 brilliant young entrepreneurs from Switzerland, UK and Germany will speak on various Swiss campuses (including ETH Zurich, ETH Lausanne, University St. Gallen, University of Lausanne, University of Bern, FHNW and University of Constance among others) and tell their personal stories. What were the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial paths? How did they turn their ideas into successful ventures? What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? How do they combine personal and entrepreneurial lives?

Come on an entrepreneurial journey with us. The keynote speech of legendary John Bird (founder of The Big Issue) will be live-streamed to all locations around Switzerland and Germany. Different groups of people around the world will simultaneously explore the same experience. After the keynote speech we will have two young entrepreneurs at each location talking about their unique experiences and giving advice on how to kick off a successful venture – from writing a business plan and getting funding to exiting or selling the venture.

Make sure to come and listen to the talented and courageous young business owners who once have changed their path in life forever. Registration is now open for various locations in Switzerland and Germany. Registration is free but we will only allow 50 people per location. Register at and stay tuned for our further updates!


What motivates people to work for a Startup?

Startups are facing high competition when trying to hire new qualified employees. What motivates people to work in a Startup rather than a big or an established small or mid-sized company?

There are of course many factors influencing people when choosing a job and a lot of them cannot be controlled by the hiring company. However, there are rather objective elements that can motivate people to work for a startup. Here are some of them:

  • Responsabilities. Startups often means small teams and consequently each member of the team can have a great impact. When being part of a team of 5-10 people, each action has consequences on the whole company and its future. This level of impact/responsibility might be very difficult to achieve in a corporate environment. Plus, if the business grows fast, the early employees can be at the head of big teams or departments quite rapidly.
  • Adventure. Startup means the beginning of something without knowing where and how it will end. This is often what we call risk, but we can easily translate it into a positive message for employees: use the word “adventure” instead of risk.
  • Big money. Yes, the salary you will get in a Startup will certainly not be as high as the one you will get in corporate organizations at the beginning. However, you are often part of an ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan), which might be equal to a big amount of money at the exit time!

Of course there are some risks when working in a Startup. The company might not be as successful as expected and the business can even shut down. But at least the employee might have some control on his future, since he can somehow have an impact on the business (which is often not the case in big companies). Early employees in Startups must have an entrepreneurial attitude, but this is exacly the beauty of the job !

What do you think motivates people to work for a Startup?