Startups

Masked

Are you up for a unique challenge, with a chance to use your skills in a fast paced environment, where you work hard, wear many hats, and commit all your energy to an idea that has only a one out of four chance of success?

If so, then working at a startup company may be for you!

Pros:

Not a job, but a mission – greater feeling of creating something of value
Lack of structure – less hierarchy, fewer rules, more casual work hours
More room for creativity and entrepreneurial spiritStartup Fair
Perks can include working from home, free food, open leave policy
Potential stock options – ownership in the company
Promotion opportunities to leadership roles easier and faster
Results of your work are immediate, and rewarding
Multiple roles, so gain valuable and diverse skills
You help define company culture
Generally fewer politics, more camaraderie

Cons:

Uncertainty, risk – there is no guarantee the company will be successful
Pay and benefits may not be as good, at least initially
Pay structure may be different; you may receive a stipend, or profit sharing options, instead of a set hourly pay rate or annual salary
Less work life balance – heavy work load and long hours
More pressure to perform – smaller workforce so every person factors into company success

What Startups Look For In A Candidate

Businessman and woman discussing together while looking at laptop in office

Passion & enthusiasm
Intellectual curiosity
Tech smarts
Ability to communicate
Outside projects
Committed to personal growth and learning
Self-starter
Extras – what else have you done

Tips For A Successful Search

Do side projects; develop an app, contribute to an open source project
Learn new technologies (classes and outside; Khan Academy, Coursera, Code.org, Open Courseware)
Demonstrate your passion
Be persistent & patient
Get involved with a campus startup
Participate in a hackathon or makeathon
Showcase your skills; GitHub, personal website, online portfolio, blog
Research startups, focus on those that fit your interests & skills
Personalized contact with CEO, demonstrate passion & interest, detail how you can make an impact

What makes an awesome startup employee?

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You hear people talking about what makes a great startup founder all the time: A great sense of vision, clarity of purpose, relentless drive, a strange balance of over-confidence and insecurity.

There are whole books written about it.

But what makes a great startup team-member? The people who join and thrive in early start startup teams are an equally special breed. In fact, the best startup employees aren’t necessarily the best fit for working in more established businesses – some of the most brilliant startup people I’ve worked with find the traditional business work impossibly frustrating.

“It’s so SLOOOW!”

“I’m just doing the same thing every day – I want to be more in touch with the other stuff going on in the business!”

There are a whole range of attributes that are uniquely suited to these small, high-growth, high pressure companies, but it can be hard for founders who are hiring teams (and people hunting for jobs) to know what those are. So we’ve smooshed together our recruiting AND startup running experience and made a list of the top 8 attributes we’ve found to be the most valuable:

Passion, enthusiasm, motivation for what you’re doing – Must buy into your vision and your big “Why” – what it is you’re trying to do or create in the world. They’ve gotta care about the problem you’re trying to solve, otherwise it’ll be hard to stay motivated.

 Curiosity – They’ve got to love the process of finding better ways to do things – especially when it comes to challenging assumptions about the only way to build products. Being curious about why you’re doing this, who it’s for and how they’re going to use it is vital across all roles in a startup too.

 Pace – They’ve got to be great at making decisions and acting on them quickly. The old adage of succeed quickly or fail fast is the day to day life of a start up. You need people who thrive and are excited by this.

 Fearless/Audacity – try the impossible, challenge more than just the status quo, be prepared to push the boundaries, limits of what we believe

 Grit – /resilience – your resilience will be consistently tested and challenged in a startup. That thing you just spent a month working on? It’s not working, we need to abandon it and try something else. The reality is that it will not be a smooth ride. People who have made it through a few tough life experiences, who have demonstrated Grit, are more likely to survive.

 Hunger and willingness to sacrifice – Founding a startup requires sacrifice. So does working in one. You’re going to get chucked in the deep end often. You’re going to be asked to work longer hours, more often. It’s a high pressure job so you’ve got to be hungry and prepared to make sacrifices.

 Sense Of Humour – You’ve got to be able to laugh and realise that tomorrow is another day. The sun will set, the sun will rise. Late nights, too much pizza and endless bug squashing is only bearable if it’s also fun. You want to be able to laugh with the people you sit next to.

Flexibility – The only constant is change. Get ready to develop skills you don’t have. Although you may be employed for a specific role, the nature of start up means that everyone leans in the direction that the business needs to be focused on at that time. If its sales this month – then get ready to help out in that area. Anyone who defaults to “that’s not in my job description” isn’t suited to a startup life.

Sources: weirdlyhub.com

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IMAGE: SHIRONOSOV
If you’re planning to look for a new job this year, you’re not alone.

Which might leave you wondering: How, exactly, does one get noticed in a crowded, motivated pool of applicants? Sure, you can read the job description, but how can you know what hiring managers are really looking for?  Which applicants stand out from a stack of resumes?  Which sail through the interview process? And — most importantly — how can you be one of those successful candidates?

We figured the best way to find out would be go to the source itself, so we sat down with HR pros and hiring managers at 11 top tech companies that partner with The Muse, like HBO, Comcast, Homeaway and Eventbrite and got some intel on what they’re looking for in 2016.

Some of what we learned was obvious: Tech jobs are booming (you may have heard?), and today’s companies are looking for people who aren’t only masters of their craft, but passionate about their work and their employer.

But we also found something surprising: Many of the qualities hiring managers are after seem to contradict each other. For instance, employers want people who think like entrepreneurs and have a take-charge mindset — but who also learn from others and play nice on the team. They want employees who are confident in their skills and accomplishments — but who also remain humble in what they don’t know.

In these cases, showing off both sets of skills may seem challenging (or leave you wondering how one person could possibly check all the boxes). But fear not. We’ve broken down what we learned and translated what you need to do to strike the perfect balancing act into 8 rules for getting hired in 2016.

Here they are — complete with tips straight from the mouths of hiring managers.

1. Prove you can hit the ground running, then learn along the way

Regardless of the position, we look for candidates who posses a results-driven way of looking at things. We identified the traits that the most successful people at our company possess, something we call the Success Formula, and we are able to structure interview questions that will really gauge if a candidate will succeed here. No matter what skills we are hiring them for, they need to be able to show metrics around how they define success. Kristy Sundjaja, chief of staff and global head of People Group at LivePerson

No matter what your skill set, companies want to feel confident that you’re an expert at it (at least to the level necessary for the role you’re applying to). In most cases, employers aren’t hiring you to train you — they’re hiring you to jump in and do the job.

So, leave hiring managers with no question that you’re ready to do just that. For every job you’re applying to, read the responsibilities and skills listed on the job description carefully, and then tailor your resume and prepare stories for your interview that show you fit the bill. Too many people expect prospective employers to read between the lines of their experience — and get their resumes tossed in the “no” pile. Instead, be deliberate about showing the hiring manager that you’ve successfully done this job before, and are ready to do it again.

That said, organizations want to feel comfortable that you’d be able to adapt to their preferences, new tools on the market or just better ways of doing things.

They want to know you’re sure of your ways, but not set in them. “We look for life-long learners, who are always in pursuit of growth in their career and personal development,” shares Julia Hartz, president and co-founder of Eventbrite. “In many ways, a skilled engineer is always learning. They are eager to adapt and adopt new skills and languages,” adds Terrell Sledge, technical recruiter at Sailthru.An easy way to show this? Share an anecdote of a time you changed your ways because of something new you learned or adapted what you know to the situation at hand. You can also illustrate that you’re open to different ways of doing things by inquiring about the methods of the company you’re interviewing with. For example, after sharing how you approached growing an email subscriber base, ask the hiring manager what her approach has been up until this point. Not only will it show how interested you are in the company (more on that below), it’ll hint at an interest in learning from the people around you.

2. Be ready to show off cross disciplinary skill sets

At a quickly growing startup like The Muse, our diverse teams work incredibly closely with each other. So we look for people who can easily collaborate with people outside of their skill set: developers who understand the broader business side of things, for example, or non-technical people who can communicate with product and engineering in an effective way. Kathryn Minshew, CEO and co-founder of The Muse

This probably won’t come as a shock, but tech skills are in high demand. A full 100% of the hiring managers we talked to cited engineers as the number one hires they’re looking to make this year — and this demand isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The Bureau of Labor statistics anticipate a 22% growth in software engineering roles from 2012 to 2022 — twice the average growth of other roles. “First, Android and iOS developers roles are huge for us, and hard to hire for. Second, we need Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs), folks who are traditionally software developers, but develop test frameworks. We’re also looking for full stack developers who focus on frontend and middleware. Finally, we need site reliability engineers — people who can help us get a system up and running,” shares Jessica Sant, senior director of software development and engineering at Comcast, of the hires they’re in need of.

So if you’re a developer, ride the wave, baby. Know how to nail the technical interview so you can show off exactly what you’re able to do, and make an effort to highlight some desirable soft skills — like decisiveness, adaptability, and communications skills — as well the ones that make you stand out from the competition. “I want a well-rounded engineer with hard technical skills, but also really great communication skills. Someone who can get their point across and break it down for a variety of audiences, someone who can collaborate with a cross-functional team and innovate,” shares Sant.

sales-meeting

IMAGE: ARIEL SKELLEY/BLEND IMAGES/CORBIS

That said, companies obviously need more than engineers: Employers cited sales, product management, operations, digital and growth marketing, and business and strategy as other in-demand roles.

Regardless of your specialty, however, the quality of the hour is cross-disciplinary. Employers want to know that you can not only collaborate with a team of people from different departments, but that you can think like them to make working together easier and help your work fit in with larger company goals.

This comes down to learning about functions outside of your own. If you’re technical, look for ways to get involved with and learn more about the business at large. And if engineering’s not in your background — or future? You can still make an effort to know a little bit about the field. Take a free online course or look for opportunities to integrate learning tech into your current job.

Then, don’t miss the opportunity to share that knowledge with hiring managers; even a few quick resume lines about your experience or interest in a field different from your primary one can be enough to whet the hiring manager’s appetite.

3. Be obsessed with the company and the field

The most important quality we look for is a passion for our business: they know what we do and they are excited about the opportunity to come work with us. Stephani Martin, VP of people & culture at Boost Media

You probably want a job that’s about more than just the paycheck. Similarly, employers want to hire people who are there because they love what the company is doing — not just because they need any old job. We heard time and time again from employers just how critical it is to show off why you’re dying to work for them, specifically.

How can you do this without coming off as a superfan or stalker? You don’t need to show up wearing company swag, tweet at the CEO every day or spend the interview gushing about the product. Instead, show off how much you love the company by using your knowledge of it to give a sense of how you’d step into the role. For example, you might mention a time you used the product and a challenge you had with it — and describe how you think you could alleviate that in your role.

“Doing this shows the hiring manager you’re interested in not only the brand, but also working for the brand. You understand the problems, needs and voice, and you have the skills needed to turn that knowledge into results,” says The Muse‘s Robyn Melhuish.

But you should also have interest — and ideally expertise! — in the industry you’re applying to at large. For example, you may love the idea of working for HBO based on your obsession with Game of Thrones, but can you bring enough insider knowledge to help them succeed?

“We recommend that all candidates do their research around industry trends before coming in to interview for any position,” says a talent acquisition specialist at HBO. “It’s great to be familiar with HBO shows, but having a depth of knowledge around the industry as a whole is key. Being able to articulate the bigger picture or sharing thoughts on how a company can stay ahead and innovate helps candidates stand out.”The ideal hire for a company is someone who’s an expert both in her craft and in the field she’s applying it to, so if you’re not already keeping up with industry reading, researching what competitors are doing, engaging with experts on social media and regularly talking shop with like-minded folks, start now! It will give you great talking points to help you prove you’re in the know during the interview, and also show hiring managers your dedication to the industry when they inevitably Google you.

4. Show you’re self-driven but can also play nice on a team

The ideal candidate sees the value in collaboration and can stand behind the belief that everyone has experience that you can learn from. Terrell Sledge, technical recruiter at Sailthru

Today, everyone needs to be an entrepreneur — or at least have the mindset of one — and companies want to hire people who are going to take ownership of projects without having to be babysat every step of the way. And this isn’t just a philosophy of startups that need people like this to survive — larger organizations are embracing the entrepreneurial ideas of moving faster and innovating more, too. “It is all about ownership versus administration,” shares Sledge of Sailthru. “Candidates who lead the charge, having innovated, designed and architected systems, deployed setups, etc. are exactly what we are looking for.”

To show this off to hiring managers, you’ll want to make sure to highlight three things: the fact that you’re a self starter, your capacity for creative thinking and your ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a lot on your plate. Career specialist Aja Frost has tips for highlighting each of these qualities in your resume; you can also pull out anecdotes that exemplify these traits in your cover letter and interview answers. Was there a time you noticed a problem, came up with a creative solution and then took the initiative to implement it in addition to your other work? Make sure you share that story.

 

teamwork

IMAGE: YURI_ARCURS

But just because you can do things on your own doesn’t mean you always should, and seeing as many companies we talked to attributed their most creative ideas to collaboration, they want to be absolutely sure that you’ll be great at working on teams to make amazing things happen.

In fact, some companies value this so much that they’ll specifically test for it in the interview. ThoughtWorks, a software design company based in San Francisco, for example, gives candidates a pair programming challenge with a current employee. This exercise “serves the purpose of allowing us to understand whether a candidate works collaboratively and how they react to feedback,” shares Laura Nash, recruitment marketing manager. “A candidate that is excited about feedback and is able to adapt as they go demonstrates the open-mindedness and passion we desire.”

So, make sure to show off your team-playership, too. when talking about a big success you had, make sure to mention the other people you collaborated with; when talking about a time you failed, explain the experience of getting feedback from you boss and how you took that moving forward. Oh, and be nice to everyone you meet, from the people in the elevator with you to the receptionist. This is a basic — but telling — sign to employers of how you’ll treat your colleagues day to day.

5. Show passion for your work and your personal life

We also place a lot of emphasis on what a candidate does outside of work, what their hobbies and pastimes are, and their volunteer activities. David O’Connor, senior recruiting manager at Dolby

Companies these days want passionate, inspired employees — not ones who are just clocking in and out. And few things are better determiners of that than truly loving the work that you do.

If that’s not how you feel about jobs you’re applying to, it might be worth considering a career pivot. But if you do, then let it show! Let yourself get genuinely excited when talking about the job.

Let yourself geek out when talking through a particularly tough problem in the technical interview or when presetting ideas for community strategy. Real enthusiasm is obvious — and energizing to hiring managers — so don’t feel like you need to stifle it in the name of being “professional.”Also, show off ways you engage with your career of choice even outside what’s expected of you in your 9-to-5. “Things like writing books, speaking at conferences, or maintaining a blog show us that a candidate is really invested in tech, and it’s more than just a job,” shares Laura Nash, recruitment marketing manager at ThoughtWorks. One easy-but-effective approach: Create an eye-catching personal website that shares some of your related side projects, speaking gigs or volunteer work in addition to your on-the-job accomplishments. “Think ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’ whenever possible: share YouTube videos of a talk you led or a link to a working application you created,” adds Nash.

Of course, in a world where culture and tight-knit relationships are increasingly important to companies, it’s important for the people interviewing you to like you as a person, to want to bring you into their tribe. So they want to learn a little bit about you outside of your work, too! So learn how to be professional — without being boring or totally stifling your personality — in an interview!

“Don’t focus too much on conventional interviewing wisdom which may advise candidates to save personal anecdotes for the end — or to avoid sharing personal stories at all,” says Kimberly Eyhorn, director of global talent acquisition at HomeAway. “Just remember to always bridge the conversation back to your outstanding skills and experience. In a situation where several qualified candidates bring similar levels of value to the table, a hiring manager may be more likely to choose the applicant with whom they had a particularly memorable conversation.”

6. Be specific about your successes and failures

Candidates need to know how to show that they can not only produce results, but how they measure and define success. I’d recommend candidates take a look at past accomplishments and be able to concisely describe how and why they were successful, and back it up with metrics and data points. Kristy Sundjaja, chief of staff and global head of People Group at LivePerson

Obviously companies want to understand how you’re going to help them succeed, so it’s Job Search 101 to describe your most impressive achievements in your resume and interviews — and make sure to get specific!

Companies don’t just want to hear that you succeeded; they want a sense of the real results you achieved and the steps you took to get there. So don’t just say “I launched a major product” or whatever the success may be — tell the full story. Explain how, the first time you were in charge of a major product launch yourself, you knew you would feel successful if you didn’t just get it out on time, but early, so you dove in immediately, made sure to delegate work smartly and managed to launch a week ahead of schedule. Bonus points if you can quantify these accomplishments to prove you did what you said you did, and did it well.

 

successes-and-failures

IMAGE: BLOOMBERG/CONTRIBUTOR

On the other hand, if you’ve only succeeded and never failed, companies are going to worry about whether you’ll be willing to push yourself (and the company) to try new things. Laura Nash at ThoughtWorks shares, “While we’re always happy to hear of a candidate’s success, the more telling tales that are often skipped are examples of failure… Understanding how someone has learned from a failed attempt at something big and exciting is more interesting to us than a project delivered on-time and on-budget.”

So when faced with a question about your failures, don’t shy away from it. Instead, as we’ve proposed before, pick a real failure, quickly explain what happened, and then spend most of your time talking about how you examined the failure afterward to learn from your mistakes, how you incorporated those lessons moving forward, and how those failures were ultimately able to lead you to other successes down the road.

7. Be just confident enough

The perfect candidate is confident, not only in what they already know but in their capacity to learn something new. Terrell Sledge, technical recruiter at Sailthru

To make a hiring manager feel confident in you as a candidate, you need to feel confident in yourself and show it! This isn’t just about working through your pre-interview jitters (we hear some power posing can help with that) — it’s about being assured of your skills and your experience and prepared to speak candidly about your areas of growth.

If you tend to hate talking about yourself, we get it — very few of us spend an hour just talking about our accomplishments. If this is you, take career expert Suzanne Gelb’s advice and just think about confidently reporting the facts.

“When you feel confident and good about yourself, you don’t need to magnify your accomplishments or diminish other people’s great work. With a healthy sense of self-pride, you can simply report the facts. No flourishes. No stretching the truth. Just stating who you are and what you’ve done, plain and simple,” she says.Not only will this hopefully help you overcome some fears, it will help you avoid the other end of the spectrum: sounding like you’re cocky or bragging. Companies don’t want someone who thinks they know everything — they want people who are humble about their limitations and excited to learn and grow past them. So don’t be confident to the point of being a know-it-all!

If the interviewer starts talking about something you don’t know, don’t try and fake that you have a background with it — admit that you’ve never heard of that before and ask him or her to explain. When asked about about your biggest weakness, don’t just say something like “perfectionism” and try to move on — share a real challenge you’ve struggled with and ways you’re looking to improve it. If you’re in a technical interview and the hiring manager questions your way of doing things, don’t just push her off — confidently explain your thinking, but also ask how she would have approached the problem.

“Certain skills can be taught, but you have to exhibit the willingness to stretch yourself and to discover your full potential,” adds Kristy Sundjaja, chief of staff and global head of People Group at LivePerson.

8. Focus on your future and don’t worry too much about your past

The perfect candidate is looking forward to what they hope to accomplish next, while maintaining a personal standard of excellence in what they are working on at present. Terrell Sledge, technical recruiter at Sailthru

Yes, companies are hiring you to help them do things and go places, but they also want to understand how this job is going to help you go places and achieve your goals. After all, an engaged employee — one who’s developing professionally consistently on the job — is more likely to stay around for years to come.

And while, you shouldn’t spend your entire application explaining why this job would be so great for your career (the focus there should be on how you can help the company), have a sense of your goals and how this job will fit into them. You can mention this in your cover letter, but it’s going to be more powerful during the interview, when you can weave it into questions such as “Tell me about yourself,” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and “Why are you leaving your current job?” When it’s your turn to ask questions, ask something like “How does the organization support your professional development and career growth?” to show that it’s something you’re really interested in.

And if you have a winding career path that doesn’t exactly make sense with the future you envision for yourself, there’s good news for you — hiring managers are increasingly open to hiring great people, even if they don’t have exactly the background they expected.

looking-away

IMAGE: HERO IMAGES INC./HERO IMAGES INC./CORBIS

“I like candidates who haven’t had one straight path in their career,” says Stephani Martin, VP of people & culture at Boost Media.

“A dynamic work history shows that they are willing to try new things and seek opportunities outside of their comfort zone.”

Learn how to spin your career change in your favor during your job search, focusing on showing the hiring manager all the things we’ve talked about so far — your transferrable skills, your adaptability, your past successes in a variety of fields, the cross-disciplinary thinking you bring to the table — and then lean into your varied past, knowing that you’re showing off the best of what you have to offer the company.

“The perfect candidate will have a combination of strong technical skills, a sense of pride and ownership in his or her work and a desire to work on a team of highly skilled, passionate people in an effort to make an impact on the business,” sums up Tom Aurelio, SVP of people & culture at Priceline.com — oh, and all the the other things mentioned above. We know it might feel like a lot, but it’s a competitive market, and the more of these qualities you’re able to show off, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to land your dream job.

Great post by ERIN GREENAWALD FOR THE MUSE via http://mashable.com

How can Techmeetups.com help you ?

Delivering Startup Happines www.techmeetups.com

We help Startups through Events like Meetups, Workshops, Hackathons, Job Fairs, Events Promo and also have www.techstartupjobs.com to help you recruit your tech team. 

Explore Techmeetups events in Berlin, Paris, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York, Vienna, Lisbon, Madrid

startup-job-interview

Applying for a job in a startup and applying for a job in a corporate, are qualitatively different things. Demands of both are different and the mindset you’d require to perform well at both of them is different.

If you have already decided to work for a startup despite all the hurdles that may await you on your way, here are a few tips about things to avoid saying and doing during your startup job interview process.

Using generic phrases

Phrases like fast learner, strategist, initiator of new initiatives will not work for a startup, at least not for a good one – A good startup will expect people who can communicate clearly what they have done and what past result and achievement makes them eligible in less than 140 characters. If you are still left with space to explain your personality, be my guest.

Jump straight to why can you deliver on that particular job they are advertising? Because you’ve done it before? Because you got the network? Because got the figures? Show them the figures.

happy-workers

“Managing” a team

No startup ever has use of managers people who hope to get things done delegating to others. In a startup everyone ships and there is no hierarchy but a flat hierarchy. Everyone is in the field and everyone delivers something at the end of the day – whether code, content, or customer support calls.

Saying how cool and necessary their startup is for the society

Even if that’s true no good startup will ever hire you for flattering.
The better way is to decide what specifically they are call about and address that particular need. For example – I saw your downloads getting to 10,000 in just 10 days, I can help it jump to a 1,000,000 in 30 days. Or your interface is so cool, I’d love to work on some extra things that will boost your conversion in another 3%.

See? Flatter + actionable in the same pitch

Being a “people” person

I don’t know why people use this so much, what exactly do they try to convey and what will it take to remove it from their dictionary. You say you are a people person who knows how to make it win-win for everyone? Well perfect, in other words you are a great salesman. In that case sell my product to someone in a way he is so happy and delighted with the value he gets for his money that he refers 10 more people to buy. That’s a real people person if you ask me.

Being remorseful about 9-5 jobs

This won’t get you selected, not only because it is cliché nowadays, but because no one works 9-5 anyways. Our smartphones and 3G have permanently taken that privilege from us. Therefore both, the average and the great performers work beyond 9-5 but the difference is what they deliver.

If you can’t showcase what you have achieved even within those hours, your rebellious mind will not sell you to the opportunity. It is not about the 9-5 job and it is not because you are forced to do the same thing every single day. It is rather because you are lazy and unwilling to challenge yourself. Contrary to what the folklore says, no company ever forces people to do the same thing or forbids them to innovate within their own context.

You are looking for more challenging role

No you don’t. Get to the point. Be honest, you will be appreciated for that and save many people’s valuable time. What you need is more money.

If you were looking more challenges you would have found some already. The world is not short of challenges. The very fact that you haven’t shipped or built anything in the past few years is a living proof that challenges is not what you are after. Cut the nonsense.

You have already failed in your own startup

Thank the startup folklore again for making it sound cool for people to brag that they have failed a startup, hence being more powerful and experienced as a result of it. That blog you were running? That doesn’t count as a startup unless you found way to monetize it.

What matters more to those who’d hire you is not the mere fact that you failed in your own startup but that you understand the nature of that failure and why exactly it failed. Demonstrating clarity around this will earn you extra points on your startup job’s application.

Great post by ANJLI JAIN via  www.iamwire.com

How can Techmeetups.com help you ?

Delivering Startup Happines www.techmeetups.com

We help Startups through Events like Meetups, Workshops, Hackathons, Job Fairs, Events Promo and also have www.techstartupjobs.com to help you recruit your tech team.

Original post by  via TNW

Ryan Matzner is the Director of Strategy at Fueled, the leading iPhone application developers and masters of mobile design, based in New York and London. This post was originally published on the Fueled blog.

As Fueled has grown from its infancy to more than 100 employees, I regularly interview many smart candidates who could answer your standard interview questions in their sleep.

While these candidates’ majors, universities, and goals reliably give me basic background information, it’s the deeper insight that makes a candidate stand out. I barely went to college myself. It’s hardly the most important part of a resume.

These tell-me-about-who-you-really-are questions open a window into who the person is, how they think, and what kind of employee they will make.

IMG_4340-1300x866-730x486These are insights I wish I had known back when I first started interviewing people. So for young startups, here’s some food for thought when you start interviewing employees. And for everyone else, maybe this will help you land a job.

What apps can you tell me about that aren’t lame?

We want the apps we make to be trendy, but if your favorite apps are Flappy Bird and Instagram, we have a problem. Tell me about something I haven’t heard of yet.

I like when a candidate knows about apps that I don’t – as long as they’re not lame. And, here’s the twist: Tell me what you would change about this app. “It’s a cool app” is a rather pedestrian opinion.

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Join TechStartupJobs Fair Berlin 2014 at Berlin, Germany , Tuesday, May 13, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CEST)

Original post by Onstartups

Businessman banging his head against the wall.Remember your first business loan? Or, if you’re like many entrepreneurs, you may have initially bootstrapped your startup by buying some stuff on your credit card. You were excited and apprehensive: Excited because now you had the cash to invest in your business, apprehensive because you had just taken on a debt you would have to repay.

But that was okay, because you were confident you could create more value than the interest you would pay. Even though you eventually have to pay off a financial debt, gaining access to the right resources now often marks the difference between success and failure.

That’s true for financial debt – but it’s almost never true for culture debt.

Culture debt happens when a business takes a shortcut and hires an employee with, say, the “right” the skills or experience… but who doesn’t fit the culture. Just one bad hire can create a wave of negativity that washes over every other employee, present and future – and as a result, your entire business.

Unfortunately the interest on culture debt is extremely high: In some cases you will never pay off the debt you incur, even when a culture misfit is let go or leaves.

Here are five all-too-common ways you can create culture debt that can keep your startup from achieving its potential:

1. You see the ivy and miss the poison

The star developer who writes great code… but who also resists taking any direction and refuses to help others… won’t instantly turn over a new interpersonal leaf just because you hire him.

The skilled salesperson who in the short-term always seems to outperform her peers… but who also maneuvers and manipulates and builds kerosene-soaked bridges just waiting to go up in flames… won’t turn into a relationship building, long-term focused ambassador for your company just because you hire her.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Breaking the Ice with Interested Job Candidates

If you’re a business start up, getting the best employees requires walking a tightrope between being too corporate and too inquisitive, too personal and too remote. Follow this guide to breaking the ice with prospective hires.

Try to read their personality - without getting too personal.

Try to read their personality – without getting too personal.

DON’T Infiltrate Their Online Lives

Before you buy it, date it or hire it – Google it. This cliche is also a piece of good advice. When a prospective new hire shows interest, it’s natural and prudent to check him or her out online, and what they choose to make public is fair game. But with so many employers giving friend requests – or even asking to see private social media updates – don’t be a tech start up that acts like an overbearing parent before you’ve even hired the employee.

DON’T Require Personal References

Professional references are great, but requests for personal references are antiquated and – especially for young Millennials looking for a business start up to hitch their talents to – make employers look gullible. Think of the worst person you could possible imagine. That guy could get three people to say something nice about him.

DO Pick a Random Topic

Job hunters come into interviews prepared to speak on a variety of issues. They expect to talk about their experience, what motivates them, why they’d be a good fit, etc. But if you pick a random, topical subject – something in the news, whatever – you give the interviewee a moment to exhale and speak conversationally. Without putting them on the spot, you also gain insight into who they are as a person.

DO Fact Check Resumes

People lie and embellish on resumes all the time. The number-one reason? Because employer rarely check. A college degree doesn’t necessarily make someone a good person or prospect, but the willingness to lie about it should send up a huge red flag to any business start up.

DO Avoid Shop Talk

Engage in genuine conversation without putting the employee on the spot.

Engage in genuine conversation without putting the employee on the spot.

Make an effort – especially in a first interview – to talk about something other than work, past experience, the industry, why they got into business or why they think they’d be a good match for your tech start up. When you engage a prospect in conversation that avoids the common shop talk, you humanize your business and get to see how the potential recruit functions and thinks as a human being, not a worker.

Avoid the boilerplate job interview questionnaire whenever possible when it comes to breaking the ice with job candidates. It’s easy to fall into the trap of asking certain questions in a certain order. But from the first interview through the entire hiring process, it’s important to get a feel for who the candidate really is – and to show them a true glimpse of the human side of your company.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about small business management, careers and driving-related topics such as hypermiling.

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Comments Off on 7 Tips on Hiring for Your Startup

7 Tips on Hiring for Your Startup

Posted by | 31 May, 2013 | Hiring, Jobs, Startups

 By Sarah Boisvert , Media Shower

Startups are in a unique situation when hiring employees. Usually cash flow is tight or the company is being bootstrapped, so hiring mistakes are more costly than in a company with more financial stability. In addition, early-stage new hires are a large percentage of the total number of employees and have the potential for greater impact, both good and bad.

Here are seven simple tips to help you hire the right staff for your startup.

1.Online Reputation

You’ll still need to secure the legally required permissions to do background checks on potential employees, but be sure to include looking into online reputation.

People tend to more freely discuss topics in their social media communication, thinking it’s between “friends.” Consequently, you’ll get a clearer picture of a candidate’s real attitudes and work ethic, for example, from checking the status of their Internet reputation.

2.   Use Internships

Especially in technical fields, paid internships are a part of the career path. A paid internship of a set timeframe, say a summer, can give you a better picture of how a student with great grades fits into the workplace. Many aspects of the workplace cannot be evaluated until someone is actually in the trenches, so to speak, and has to perform.

3.   University Relationships

Develop strong relationships with thought leaders in your industry, especially those at universities and colleges in your area. Students will be looking for jobs at graduation, and personal contact is a great way to get a good idea about the suitability of a candidate. Especially with students with advanced degrees who have had to complete dissertations, faculty will have had extensive experience working with the students in a setting quite similar to the work environment.

4.   Angel and Entrepreneurs Networks

Strategic and innovative hiring processes will narrow down the candidates for your startup!

Strategic and innovative hiring processes will narrow down the candidates for your startup!

Often a highly motivated individual with entrepreneurial attitude can be found through angel investors or other entrepreneur networks that foster innovation. Their own idea may not have worked out or was proven not to be feasible. But they are excited to be part of a team creating new businesses. This group, of course, carries the risk of leaving when a better idea crosses their path!

5.   Testing

Testing services can highlight good indicators of non-tangible employee skills such as interpersonal communication styles. In addition, at many companies, an interview for a job that requires good writing skills should include a writing test. Simply asking the candidate to read a company product brochure and create a short synopsis can also give you a clear picture of analytical thinking ability.

6.   Start with Contract Work

Many great employees start as independent contractors working on clearly defined projects. This gives both parties a chance to try out the relationship without a full commitment. The work should likely be project-based such as completing a market research study or designing a specific prototype.

7.   Hacker Clubs, Maker Spaces, FabLabs

Creative doers abound at places like FabLabs or maker spaces.

Creative doers abound at places like FabLabs or maker spaces.

Whether for a technology job or not, people who hang out in hacker clubs, maker spaces, and FabLabs tend to be doers. They like to try new things and are usually open to innovation processes, including learning from failures. Visit these hotbeds of creativity to get the word out about your job openings. A maker or hacker’s can-do attitude is a plus for any startup!

Startups that carry innovative methods into their job hiring process are bound to see the kind of success they need to become a “real” company.

Sarah Boisvert is an author who writes on a variety of business and innovation topics. She also covers social media and technology, including 3D printing.

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Comments Off on Student Engineers: Apply to work at 170+ startups with one Common Application

Student Engineers: Apply to work at 170+ startups with one Common Application

Posted by | 22 December, 2012 | Startups, Strategy

Original post by Red Eye VC 

We’ve talked a lot recently about the amazing amount of talent that exists in universities across the country – and one of the main reasons we launched the Dorm Room Fund was to create a new and more efficient way for capital to flow onto campuses and into the best and brightest entrepreneurs.  But we realize that not everyone wants to start a company; many students, instead,  would love to join one.   But it’s often really hard for students to find the perfect startup jobs.  Startups typically don’t recruit/interview on college campuses.  And they rarely post job openings for internships.  Too often, it is often based on who you know.  So a lot of top university talent simply end up taking an internship or full-time job at Google or Microsoft.   We don’t think this makes sense.

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Comments Off on Startup or Small Business – The Other Chasm

Startup or Small Business – The Other Chasm

Posted by | 11 September, 2012 | Startups

Original post by Peter Skalla via CFOWISE

There’s a world of difference between a scalable technology startup and a small business.  Decide which you are.

Crossing the Chasm is a startup classic written in 1991 about the challenge of going mainstream with a technology product.  I see an earlier mindset-based chasm with startups.  It’s summed in this question:  Are you a startup or a small business?

The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but the confusion on this point tends to be cataclysmic.  There’s alignment that comes from meaning the same thing when founders, investors, and employees talk about these organizations in the same way.  Using a bit of the mindset and vernacular of Silicon Valley, let’s explore the difference and the implications of the chasm between startups and small businesses.

Steve Blank showed the world that startups are not just small versions of large companies.  Applying big company management within startups leads to frustration and failure.  A similarly critical distinction separates startups from small businesses.  Silicon Valley thinks of startups as organizations that are designed to become very big (my rule of thumb is $20 mil. in 5 years and $100 mil. in 10) and are characterized by extreme uncertainty because they seek to do something very new.  In contrast, small businesses are designed to meet the income, lifestyle, and other needs of their founders and are characterized by execution risk within known business models (dental practice, restaurant, building contractor, etc).

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Comments Off on CEO Sundays: Video Interviewing Can Lead to Better Startup Hiring

CEO Sundays: Video Interviewing Can Lead to Better Startup Hiring

Posted by | 29 August, 2012 | Jobs, Startups

Original post by TECHLI

The startup hiring forecast is looking rosy. According to a recent survey, nearly 83 percent of all startup companies plan to hire in the next year. Considering the 8.2 percent unemployment figures and the lean June jobs report, more job seekers than ever will consider making the switch from an established company to the startup environment.

Just as important as it is for job seekers to find a great position, it’s doubly important for startups to hire the right employees. For startup companies to survive and thrive, they need good employees bringing innovative ideas. Online video hiring solutions are helping these startups find the talented employees they need.

Here are some ways startups can use video interviewing to find superstar candidates:

Creative Solution to a Common Problem 
At most startups, innovation is a prized commodity. After all, if startup entrepreneurs were interested in the way things have always been done they would be working for an established company. Instead startup companies look for creative solutions to common problems, for new ways to innovate and new ideas to bring to the table.

These are the same traits startups look for in ideal employees. Using video interviewing shows candidates right from the hiring process that the company is willing to embrace new ways of thinking. Branding your company as creative and tech savvy will in turn attract potential hires with these same values.

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Comments Off on The social job hunt: Web startup brings resumes to life for college students in tough economy

The social job hunt: Web startup brings resumes to life for college students in tough economy

Posted by | 14 August, 2012 | Jobs, Startups

Original post by Nicole Casal Moore via phys

(Phys.org) — A new career-focused social networking site is believed to be the first-of-its-kind platform for college students and recent grads to showcase their work and connect directly with hiring companies.

What Happens When You Die – New theory says death isn’t the end – RobertLanzaBiocentrism.com Seelio, from “see” and “portfolio,” was co-founded by a University of Michigan entrepreneurship instructor, and its public beta opens today. Portfolios are available to anyone with an edu email address, not just at U-M. Companies can also create accounts to recruit students.
The site’s developers say it fills a gap in the landscape of online portfolio and career-focused networking sites, especially for the entry-level demographic. Seelio is the only known site to meld dynamic online work portfolios with a network of other job seekers and recruiters. The site mashes the professionalism of LinkedIn with the interactivity potential of Facebook and the attractive display of Pinterest to create a dedicated space to celebrate work.

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Comments Off on StartupValley Generates Capital For Tech Startups

StartupValley Generates Capital For Tech Startups

Posted by | 13 August, 2012 | Software & technology, Startups

Original post by Virtual-Strategy

SADDLE BROOK, N.J., Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — StartupValley is the future of technology-based startups. The site is an online, equity crowdfunding portal established as a result of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or the JOBS Act. Similar to the thousands of technology startups in Silicon Valley, StartupValley is home to businesses and startups in the technology and internet fields. The site is currently in Beta while the JOBS Act regulations are finalized by the SEC, but allows for preregistration. Once the rules and regulations are published in early 2013, StartupValley will be a fully functioning platform for entrepreneurs and businesses to raise capital in the most pervasive, advantageous way.

For the first time in history, entrepreneurs can build capital without the support of accredited investors. The “crowd” present in equity crowdfunding provides startups with the ability to raise capital from non-accredited investors in exchange for an equity ownership in their company.

As the entrepreneur of his own multi-million dollar business, Daryl H. Bryant founded StartupValley with entrepreneurs in mind:

“As an entrepreneur I know that it’s nearly impossible for a startup or business to secure the capital they need. This is one of the main reasons many businesses don’t succeed in this country.”

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Comments Off on To Beat Goldman and Google on Campus Recruiting, Startups Like Square Sponsor 25-School Hacker Tour

To Beat Goldman and Google on Campus Recruiting, Startups Like Square Sponsor 25-School Hacker Tour

Posted by | 12 August, 2012 | Jobs, Startups

Original post by Nitasha Tiku via BETABEAT

Talk to a startup recruiter about hiring young developers, and he’ll eventually admit it’s hard to compete in the campus cattle call,with Goldman and Google sucking up all the air.

But rather than rely on incendiary exit letters or Aaron Sorkin scripts to convince engineering talent to come over to to the startup side, a number of smaller companies are banding together to flex their collective recruiting power.

This fall, startups like Square, Box, 10Gen and Codecademy are sponsoring a nationwide effort called Hacker Tour 2012 that kicks off September 12th. The tour targets computer science and engineering students at 25 top campuses, including Cornell, Princeton, Penn State, MIT and Harvard on the East Coast—which they claim will reach 20,000 students. The bulk of the positions the tour hopes to fill are in software engineering, with user-experience designers coming in second.

The tour is being organized by Readyforce, a San Francisco job search company that matches college students with the right employers. (Sponsorship for the tour costs $5,000, and Readyforce gets no commission for job placement.) Hacker Tour will be using customized tech talks, career fairs and yes, an Airstream bus. The company was lucky to score mobile payment company Square, founded by Twitter luminary Jack Dorsey, as its first sponsor.

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Comments Off on Why early-stage investors should be pumping up their startups with data

Why early-stage investors should be pumping up their startups with data

Posted by | 2 June, 2012 | Startups

Original post by Jeb Stone via VB

“Startups are the sum of the decisions made by the people who run them,” Future Simple founder Uzi Shmilovici wrote in a recent post.

Uzi’s absolutely right — the earlier startups begin collecting data, the better their decisions will be. There’s only one catch: Most startups don’t have expertise in analytics. The time startups spend on developing clear success metrics, actionable campaign tracking, and automated reporting is time they DON’T spend developing a minimum viable product and pivoting to find their market — effectively leaving startups with limited or no real ability to compete on analytics.

The Big Idea
What if VCs provided centralized analytics and data management resources as part of their investment in startups? Giving startups the tools and resources they need to compete on analytics would give investment firms and their startups a huge competitive advantage. Startups would grow revenue faster, reducing their level of technology debt, and giving them access to specialized skillsets typically available only to better-funded players. Investors would see a significantly enhanced probability of return.

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Comments Off on Online: the ‘sharing economy’

Online: the ‘sharing economy’

Posted by | 16 May, 2012 | Business models, Startup, Startups

Original post by NICK CHURCHOUSE via stuff

Elyssa Pallai founded micro-tasking website Pocket.Jobs to match talent to need, skill to shortage, pet feeder to pet feeder needer.

She describes Pocket.Jobs as ”a connection marketplace” linking people to people online, facilitating the delivery of a needed service or talent in the real world within existing communities.

People with a need for curtains can find someone nearby who can sew curtains, for example.  Ditto dogwalking, lawnmowing, housesitting, fence painting and so on.

Outsourcing talent and resources is a common way people are using the web, and provides great avenues for business models delivering platforms for this behaviour tailored to specific communities of users.

Dubbed the ‘sharing economy’ it is home to some of the fastest growth and most hyped web-start-up companies.

Elance, based near San Jose, is an online site that allows companies and individuals to hire and pay independent professionals and contractors online and in the cloud.

The site boasted 80,000 new employers and $43-million in contractor earnings in the first quarter of 2012. And the number of people hiring on Elance grew by 120 per cent in 2011.

Another successful site is AirBnB which advertises people’s spare rooms for rent. There are countless others making huge revenues, as well as those looking to earn.

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Comments Off on 7 People You Cannot Afford NOT to Have on Your Startup Team

7 People You Cannot Afford NOT to Have on Your Startup Team

Posted by | 9 May, 2012 | Startups

Original post by  Bushra Azhar via Wamda

Investors are lined up, the website is done, glossy promotional material with smiling faces is all set, your core team is pumped, and you are ready to go live. Now is the time to worry about hiring the rest of your team. A social startup, unlike other businesses, is not just about “business”; it is also about passion and values, without which you cannot survive. Hiring the best team with all of the necessary ingredients is the key to your success.

That said, “best” can’t be determined simply by a university transcript or a recommendation letter; best is what gels most effectively with your enterprise and its values. Define your own best and then hire, not just those with suitable expertise, but those with suitable personalities that contribute toward success of your start-up.

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Comments Off on Five little-known costs that can sting your start-up

Five little-known costs that can sting your start-up

Posted by | 9 May, 2012 | Startups

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Original post by Michelle Hammond via startupsmart

Starting a business invariably involves a series of “obvious” costs such as finding and fitting out business premises, permits and licenses, inventory and equipment, and initial marketing costs.

But according to the experts, there other less obvious costs that every start-up needs to consider.

“Start-up businesses incur many and various costs, and quite often they are caught by surprise when they discover just how much those costs can amount to,” says Marc Peskett.

Peskett is a director of MPR Group, a Melbourne-based firm providing business advisory services as well as tax, outsourced accounting and financial services to small businesses.

“Even when they have identified the costs, timing can be an issue. Finding sufficient cash at the right time in order to meet those costs can be a challenge,” he says.

“Broadly speaking, there are two groups of costs – setup and ongoing costs, and they both need to be planned for.”

“Apart from the financial cost, there’s also the time cost involved in establishing a business.”

“This needs to be factored in by a business owner, especially in those early stages when they are probably trying to do as much as they can themselves in order to save on costs.”

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Comments Off on How to Ensure Your Day Job Doesn’t Own Your Startup

How to Ensure Your Day Job Doesn’t Own Your Startup

Posted by | 8 May, 2012 | Jobs, Startups

Original post by  via 21times

There’s a hint of legend about the way that Apple was founded: Steve Wozniak was working at Hewlett-Packard when he and Steve Jobs came up with the idea to sell fully assembled printed circuit boards. The Woz took the idea to his managers at Hewlett-Packard and they turned him down. The rest, as they say, is history.

But what if Hewlett-Packard hadn’t turned down the concept that became the Apple computer? Wozniak probably had a contract outlining the terms of his employment. I can’t say for sure whether it included a clause that the company owned the rights to any intellectual property that its employees developed during their term of employment — but if that contract were written today, it certainly would.

If you’re employed while you’re working on a project on the side — whether it’s a full-fledged startup or something smaller — you need to make sure that your employer doesn’t actually wind up owning what you build.

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Original post by ROHIT ARORA via NJ

Recently, the Manta SMB Wellness Index found that many small business owners said they were planning to hire at this time last year, but the most of them (80 percent) have not. The survey also found that 45 percent do not plan to hire additional workers this year while one-third say it’s too early to tell.

Further, more than half of small businesses (53 percent) say they are not taking advantage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act healthcare tax credit, which took effect in 2010 for small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees. One in three small business owners say that don’t understand the law and its requirements, and nearly one in four say they aren’t sure how the legislation will impact their company. Half say it hasn’t impacted them and 14 percent say the effects have been negative.

The Manta SMB Wellness Index found that 42 percent of small businesses feel the economy is not really in recovery. New business activity fell 30 percent in the first three months of 2012, compared to the same time last year. More than four in 10 small business owners say taxes are more complicated this year than in previous years, and more than 30 percent report that they owed more money in taxes this year than last year.

However, entrepreneurship still continues, and many small companies aren’t letting factors they can’t control – like high gas prices or the unstable economy – stand in the way of building their business in new ways.

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Original post by MARK SUSTER via  Both Sides of the Table

When you work inside a startup with lots of clever and motivated staff you’re never short of good ideas that you can implement.

It’s tempting to take on new projects, new features, new geographies, new speaking opportunities, whatever. Each one incrementally sounds like a good idea, yet collectively they end up punishing undisciplined teams. I like to counsel that the best teams are often defined by what they choose not to do.

Let me explain.

As a VC I regularly meet with companies and listen to their plans. It’s a very common occurrence that a young startup with sub 20 staff and sub $2m in financing is racing around doing too many things. This level of complexity always worries me. A significant number of the companies I meet with get some form of feedback from me that:

“I’m a bit worried that you’re doing too many THINGS. You run the risk of being a mile wide and an inch deep. It’s hard enough to do X really well and succeed. I’m not sure how you do all these other things and yet I think they may end up being a distraction to X.”

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Original post by CHANNEL 3000

MADISON, Wis. –

With Wisconsin’s economy struggling to crawl out of a deep recession, the need for innovation and ideas has never been stronger.

A weekend event at Madison College brought together more than 100 entrepreneurs, one of whom might have the next big idea.

The innovation challenge was part of what’s called “Startup Weekend.”

On Friday, participants pitched their ideas and then voted to choose the top 15.

Then, they got to work attempting to bring the ideas to market.

John Detloff was one of the participants. He said he’s trying to develop a mobile app that he’s calling “Find Fresh.” The idea behind the app is to help Dane County Farmers’ Market visitors connect with the food they want.

“We did a lot of brainstorming Friday night trying to figure out what we wanted to do,” said Detloff. “If they come with a product in mind, or a list of fruits or vegetables they’re interested in bringing home, we’re going to be able to direct them to the vendors they want.”

A winning idea, perhaps, but the Find Fresh team isn’t alone.

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