Captain401 Startup Blog

Scalable Growth

Startups: Scalable Growth

Captain401 Czarships: Office Tasks & Company Culture

If you work at a startup, you almost certainly take on tasks outside your role. Whether it’s the CEO cleaning up after lunch or an engineer running a demo because the only sales rep is sick, each employee is expected to pitch in when needed. In particular, until your startup hires an office manager, everyone’s… Read More

How to Negotiate a Startup Salary Offer

So you’ve got an offer from a startup, and the dream of wearing shorts to work, meaningful contributions interspersed with ping-pong games, and a move-fast-and-break-things mentality is within reach. But before you sign on, make sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve – and that means bargaining up from the first offer. While some negotiating… Read More

How Startups Can Fight Bias and Harassment, Even Without an HR Team

Despite the tech world’s faith in meritocracy, startups are not immune to bias, discrimination and outright harassment. Gender bias is one common form: According to a 2016 survey of 200 women in tech, 60% had faced unwanted sexual advances, and 65% of those women said at least one came from a superior. But the problem… Read More

Navigating Startup Equity: How and When to Exercise Your Shares

When you sign on with a startup, your compensation package may include some sort of equity in the company – either stock options or stock grants. You’ll need to review your equity package (and understand its tax treatment) or you’ll find yourself facing a really hefty tax bill. We’ll break down the financial ins and… Read More

Captain401 Communication Styles: How to Have Discussions and Give Feedback in an Open Office

Communication is crucial to any company, and especially at startups – when everyone can talk to the CEO, cross-team collaboration is the norm, and each employee has an outsize impact on culture, poor communication can fracture a company faster than any failed product. Open office floor plans, actively solicited feedback, and extreme transparency are startups’… Read More

When is the Best Time to Join a Startup?

Are you looking to leave your big corporate job for a move-fast-and-break-things startup? Congratulations! Whether you want complete autonomy and high upside, or a lower-risk, more balanced environment similar to larger companies, the startup world can deliver. Though tech companies come in all shapes and sizes, there’s a stark divide in personality, benefits, and drawbacks… Read More

Captain401’s Benefits Policy

As a 401(k) provider, we’re often asked what benefits we, a young startup with fewer than 50 employees (at the time of writing, we’re at 18!), choose to offer our own employees. We’ve written about why commuter benefits, health insurance, and 401(k) matching are more cost-effective than simple salary increases; we face the typical San… Read More

Startup Founders’ Early Stage HR Roles and Responsibilities

When you’re the founder of a startup, you wear a variety of hats to become whoever you need to be at any given moment: sales rep, copywriter, engineer, customer support, bathroom cleaner – and that’s on top of the “typical” leadership work of building a product, securing funding, and devising a go-to-market strategy. Often, your… Read More

Unlimited Paid Time Off for Startups: Pros and Cons

Many early-stage startups offer unlimited paid time off as a benefit. There’s a lot to recommend unlimited PTO: It shows trust in your employees and lowers administrative burdens. On the other hand, employees can very easily take too much (or too little) time off. So does unlimited vacation actually work for startups? We’ll break down… Read More

Money Management for Startup Employees

When you’re working at a startup, it’s pretty easy for money to take a backseat to more pressing priorities like putting in a 12-hour workday, maintaining your personal life, and has it really been a month since you’ve done laundry? But with the uncertainty of startup employment, the accounting quagmire of exercising options, and the… Read More

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