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April 18, 2019

Is the culture in tech companies especially cutthroat?

As one with little experience outside the technology industry, I don't know. Yet, I've been asked this question, and perhaps I can shed some light. Assuming you are a career-minded person with some ambition, and given my experience in tech companies, I suggest the following.
Don’t join a company just because you believe it has a pleasant, agreeable culture. Chances are, you’ll discover it’s not all that you expected once you’re on the inside. Either the squishy culture is a mirage, or — worse — you’ll discover a company that’s more concerned with lifestyles than it is with success.
Don’t be concerned about joining a culture that seems to have a cutthroat or competitive culture — unless you’ve reason to believe it tolerates unethical or abusive behaviors. Often what seems cutthroat is about a culture of accountability. When people fail to meet their goals, and time and money are tight, there should be consequences.
Don’t leave a company because you don’t like the boss. Bosses can come and go — and often do, especially in tech.
Do consider whether the company offer a product that is much desired by its marketplace and is at least potentially disruptive to its competitors. It must deliver real, measurable value, as opposed to being a nice-to-have or a better mousetrap.
When a company succeeds, you’ll ultimately find greater rewards than you will working for a happy place that puts a smile on your face. Intensity and successful tech go hand in hand.

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