In the startup environment it is not uncommon to frown upon people with experience from the corporate world. They are either too old, too conservative, to0 expensive or just too corporate to make it in the startup world.
But is this really true? I don’t think so.
In fact I think the right corporate profile is a gift to any startup. Why? Because corporate profiles with an interest in startups often come with two attributes, you could easily slot into the team.
First of all, if they are interested in startups, they’re likely to be more entrepreneurial than most corporate profiles in their approach to getting things done. They will likely have years of experience navigating opposition all around them from the big incumbents and with that also experience in how to get things done despite serious adversity.
That experience is gold for your startup.
Second, they are also likely to know a lot about spotting and managing risk. Everybody knows that in corporate life, the riskiest path to choose is the one challenging the norms. And unless your ambition is a fast forced exit, you will need to manage that and perform in order to stay alive in the organization. That takes some serious risk mitigation and sometimes even almost near death-experiences.
That experience is crucial to your startup.
Having said that there is one type of corporate profile that you should probably be wary off joining your team:
The one whose main motivation is a big personal payday courtesy of your startup.
While they may be willing to work hard at achieving it, having financial compensation as a sole major motivation can backfire. Because corporate profiles with that motivation will tend to do what serves their own needs and career progressions best, and that might not necessarily be what’s in your or your startups best interest.
So be on the lookout for that and be very aware of doing your personal due diligence, when you consider onboarding a profile like that for a specific role.
Other than that, just go for the corporate experience. Look at it this way: Many of these people are talents that big corporates have essentially paid to ‘educate’ to get the experience that your startup will benefit from.
That’s an awesome deal way too good to just keep lying around.