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· 31 min read
Vasili Shynkarenka

Except for a handful of companies who send people to Mars or develop AGI, most startups don’t seem to offer a good reason to join them. You go to their websites and all you see is vague, baseless, overly generic mission-schmission/values-schvalues HR nonsense that supposedly should turn you into a raving fan of whatever they’re doing and make you hit that “Join” button until their servers crash. Well…

Some people think that’s because most startups aren’t worth joining. I disagree. This argument generalizes one’s own reasons for joining a startup onto every other human being out there, which is unlikely to be true. I think most startups, no matter how ordinary, do have a reason to join them; a good reason; even many good reasons — they just fail to communicate them well. They’re like a shy nerd on Tinder with an empty bio and no profile pic: a kind, intelligent, and thoughtful human being who, unfortunately, will be ruthlessly swiped left — not because he’s a bad match but because his profile doesn’t show why he’s a good one.

Visually, this “Tinder profile problem” looks like this: