jstrauss Profile picture
2 May, 13 tweets, 3 min read
Everyone talks about how people become serial entrepreneurs because they have a "founder mentality" and only want to do that. That's *mostly* true.

But there's another reason no one ever talks about: it's really hard for founders to find a job!

Here's a short 🧵 on why:
2/ At the core is how fundamentally broken our standard hiring processes are.

As CEO, I knew it was suboptimal but the default approach seemed good enough for our needs. Now as an applicant, I can't ignore the problem: we screen for who we think *looks* like they can do the job.
3/ Resume-driven hiring is a well discussed problem but we have yet to move beyond it. Its pernicious effects are much greater on underrepresented talent than on former startup CEOs. But the value given to name-brand resume entries impacts anyone on a non-traditional career path.
4/ As CEO of a Series A startup, I learned a lot of different skills that make me good at other jobs. But my resume would be 8 pgs long if I listed them. Instead, it says "raised X from Y"/"built a team of Z people"/"had these customers." All irrelevant to most hiring managers.
5/ The hiring mgr for Director of Product can't be blamed for being more excited about the candidate who was an Associate PM at Google than the one who led product at a random startup. "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM."

Bottom line: founder experience is a resume blackhole.
6/ Then there's references. As a founder, you develop a huge network. But relatively few people who've worked with you directly, and all of those worked *for* you. There end up being a lot of people who can speak to your character, but only a handful who can speak to your work.
7/ And the reality is an enthusiastic endorsement from a former manager or co-worker rightly carries a lot more weight with a hiring manager than a warm intro from someone who knows you socially or worked with you at arm's length.
8/ It's for these reasons that many former founders will tell you it's easier to raise money for a new startup than to find a job that fits their actual experience level.

I'm not explaining this for pity. Being able to "fall back" to starting another company is a huge privilege.
9/ But I think founders get lionized in a way that attracts people to entrepreneurship without fully preparing them for all of the costs. I want to bust the myth that "founder mentality" or "entrepreneurial spirit" is the *only* reason people become serial entrepreneurs.
10/ I probably would have started another company at this point, but I've decided I want to focus on a totally new space (climate) where I have no domain expertise. So here I am doing personal content marketing to try to drum up attractive job opportunities :-)
11/ If you know of a great company with the potential to have a big impact combating climate change that's looking for someone creative, resourceful, and resilient to join their team as a PM or operator, my DMs are open.

+1/ thanks @J0eBenjamin for the pointer to these 🤯 stats!
+2/ Anecdotal data from successful serial entrepreneur @dbenyamin (who does not need a job :) )

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