Why startouts need startups ?

This is from another conversation with someone at a premier institute in Bangalore. I asked this guy to help me out with referrals of batchmates/seniors for working with us and this is a discussion about the same:

(09:16:53)(someone): it's very good for students here. most of them take sucky jobs in large corporations. this is a very good oppurtunity for them to do something neat.
(09:17:28) Sameer: Thats true. I guess we should push that as a selling point.
(09:17:43) Sameer: Esp for internship - sometimes ppl really waste time in big places.
(09:17:57) (someone) yep
(09:18:18) (someone) even me tryin to get people accept the idea.
(09:18:44) Sameer: kewl. and the more ppl that see startups, the more the acceptance will be
(09:19:09) (someone) yep
(09:19:15) Sameer: the 'comfort zone' of big brandname workplaces needs to be disturbed a little, given a gr8 job mkt the 'security' angle is needless.

This brings out a couple of rather important problems to solve to create a startup/entrepreneur culture - the lure and safety of big brands and the need of a college grad to 'establish' him/herself. Most people will not take a 'risk' blindly. Once there is visibility of efforts backed by real money (and 'failing' is not a dirty word - if one has worked at a good plan, put in effort into execution) the stigma should start to diminish. Some cash in hand is a very big one at that stage in life.

But the biggest difference that startups can make it to the quality of projects/work that people take on as part of their internship or early career. While its not always true and generalizations are just that - I have seen a lot of interns essentially do low end grunt work which not many others in the project team might have really wanted to do themselves. Later, you expect the same guys to graduate and be almost immediately useful to you! Unfair. Its similar, to a lesser extent though, for 'fresh' employees. Startups cannot afford this (again, by and large true tho not a given) and may be a great rapid-growth-engine for grads. The exposure to multiple aspects of developing and selling a product, from requirements (straight from the customer) to the pitch for sales, the support for sales demos are hardly possible in a larger setup.

The flip side is that unless one is reasonably sure of what one wants to do, there is a risk of being a little narrowly focussed too early in life. However, this may happen in large corporations too, if you're stuck in a team. So a job switch if it really sucks is on anyway...

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