Here's something about San Francisco that outsiders often don't realize. Took me years to figure out 👉 You never fail and advancing your career is easy.
Here's how it works
In SFBA startups, if you’re good, you have to fight tooth and nail NOT to become the boss. To keep doing stuff you enjoy.
A company doubling in size every few months needs bosses. People who have been there awhile and know how things work are the natural choice.
D'oh, but ...
.. the head trick in SFBA is that it doesn’t matter if any single company you work for fails.
Say you reach “Director” in your 4 years at a startup. Startup fails
you are gobbled up by a company 3x the size as a team manager
The company grows and because you grow with it, you go from managing 5 people (which was Director level at your failed startup) to managing 5 managers
You are then gobbled up by a 3x bigger company as a Tier 2 or whatever manager.
and you keep failing upwards like that for the rest of your career
You get a title demotion, but financial promotion on each step. Also your risk goes down.
Like, a thing that’s very common is to start a startup, fail, and become a product manager at a bigger company.
Because to them someone who can run a “successful” startup is about as good as a PM who can run a small part of a small part of one of their products.
that’s the magic of SFBA
you always fail upwards
your career never resets