This is what I call the epoch that every once great company has. Some examples that come to mind are Microsoft in the 1990s, Ebay from 2001–2006, Google from 2006–2011, Facebook from 2008–2013. For me it was Yahoo! from 2003–2008. Possibly more recently it would be AirBnB from 2012–2018 or Stripe last few years till now.

Ask anyone who works in these companies during this time. The company was expanding so fast. “The Rise” that i wrote about previously here: The “Rise” & The “Grind”

Absolutely magical times. Everyone wants to work there. You are so proud, you are eager to tell people where you work at parties (when they were allowed in pre-covid times). You wear the t-shirt or whatever swag with pride.

I’ve stated many times, you are only as good as the people you work with and you never want to be the smartest person in the room. I can honestly say from 2001–2009, I was by far the dumbest person in almost every meeting, that was how good and experienced the level of the people were at Yahoo! My learning curve was at a vertical line up during this time. No surprise many of these people ended up populating the leadership ranks of all the top Silicon Valley companies from Facebook, Zynga, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple & eBay. Many have ended up joining many of the top media companies & ad agencies in New York and globally in all major rising ecommerce and Adtech startups and giants like Criteo, Alibaba and Tencent among others. Yahoo! Alumni have been well represented in Venture capital as well.

This network has been an incredible resource for learning and opportunities. This is why I tell anyone young or old, follow Sheryl Sandberg’s famous advice: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”

I was fortunate to be able to get to do this at Alibris, Yahoo! & 500 Startups. You may not get rich, and the companies may or may not end up doing well. In some cases, the “rocket ship” implodes. But regardless, if you are able to do this, it will literally change your life and the trajectory of your career. These magic five years in a growth company is something very few people in the working world get to experience. I look back very fondly at those times & consider myself very lucky to have gone through this in my career.

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Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything!

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