More and more designers are making the jump from freelance or agency life into startups. I'm compiling a list of "things every designer should know before joining a startup"—would love to hear your thoughts.
Answering this is tougher than I thought it would be. My first startup experience was pretty smooth actually. Sure it was long hours and the work style was different, but I'd come from an agency (my own) and, honestly, anything would have seemed "easy" after that. I found it a very nice change of pace. The challenges were a bit different, but the feeling of ownership you get working at a startup, feels great after client work. The long hours and hard work didn't feel so much like work, you know?
I guess one thing I wish I'd known--and still wish I knew more about--is compensation and the financial workings of a funded startup. I've worked at three startups, been through two acquisitions and I'm still a bit mystified by everything.