So…. today is my last day officially working for Keewi – a very cool startup in Saigon. It’s almost 1 year since the first time I knew about this awesome team and its famous event Start Me Up – the only monthly entrepreneurship event in Saigon. Looking back, it was an amazing journey that brought me to the technology world and expose to new way of thinking about this world, which is totally different from what I’ve believed before.

Listening to the song Humanity in Motion inspires me to write a short post for youngsters who want to tip a toe in a startup world. These are all the awesome experiences I want to share with you:

  • Diversity of skills: Usually, a job in a corporate will need a specific skillset and the skill you acquired will be very focus. At a startup, one skill is never enough, start-up never have enough people to do the work. As a business student, I know nothing about design & coding. When people talk about landing page, UX design, Google analytics, CSS, HTML5, Javascript, object-oriented, etc. I felt like it was alien language. But don’t be afraid, take time and dig deeper into technical skills, it will make your communication much easier. Looking back, I believed I’ve learned a lot from programmers and designers in Keewi. Thanks to them that I know how to do basic Java programming and basic Photoshop skills.
  • Involve in strategic level decision: tech-startups nowadays apply lean methodology that searching for the right business model. This decision is based on endless loop of customer discovery and hypothesis testing. Therefore, there are higher chances you can propose the idea to CEO & have discussion about the company future. The decisions you involve range from adding product features, changing the user experience, finding new revenue models, go/kill decision for certain project,
  • Cool & hip culture: there is no red-tape, no formal paper, no hierarchy, whatever you want to propose, tell it to the whole team. Startup team drink beers eat out or play basketball/football.
  • Self-learning attitude: corporations always pay lots of attention on their people. They have formal training program & career tracking for employees. Employees are always how to do certain jobs properly and professionally with guidance from management. Startups rarely have to time to teach you how certain works are done, as they are too busy surviving and getting punches from customers/suppliers/economy everyday. Start-up is more about on-the-go learning where you have to grab books, online courses, tips from your networks, observe what other companies doing to understand deeply about specific skills.  However, that is a good condition since startup is a lonely road, there is no similar paths for two different companies. Beside, startup is a lifestyle, how can someone teach you how to live a life?
  • Resilience: you try, you fail and you try again. Sometimes you win, sometimes you screw things up, and that’s normal. Get used to being punched many times in a day will make you stronger and more resilient to things out of your control.  Remember, it’s not about the events happen to you, it’s how you response. There’s nothing wrong with failure, but there are way wrong with giving-up.

For me, at the end of the day, it’s all about what we are adding value to the society and people around you. With a startup, I have a sense of belonging, the feeling of being part of a team, a part of something bigger than myself and create product that solve society’s problems. And that’s made all the differences 🙂

Thank you Mike and Keewi team for such an incredible experience.