Is a micro-startup as good as experience at a "real" company?

There are a lot of equity type job arrangements on and other places. For a guy like me who has savings and doesn’t mind working on one of these for the experience it seems like low hanging fruit to build job experience and a resume.

To be clear, the pay probably won’t be there, this would be a longer term play. I’d continue to job hunt while working at my job and list it as such on my resume. By the same token I treat my work seriously.

Are hiring staff generally wise to the low or unpaid nature of these micro startups, and punish them accordingly in their review? Or is this an easy in to develop demonstrable job experience?

If it depends, I’m interested in the dividing lines between good and bad job experience. I get the extremes (2 guys in a basement walking away from a bankrupt company bad, Google good). I’m not clear on anything else.

My first job is a startup, albeit in the 3rd or 4th year. And I’m earning a salary. The CTO seems to really like working with the small team because you get to do more with less overhead with regards to time, meetings, division of labor, that sort of thing.

The scope of my work is overwhelming. There is no shortage of pieces of the platform to work on. One second I’m bug fixing front end CSS, the next I’m building a new API endpoint, making a new table in the database, and next week I’ll start building an entirely new platform for our company.

It’s only my 4th day. While my financial situation sounds similar it’s to yours, I don’t know that it’s necessary to turn down compensation. I declined an offer before this one because the salary was too low.

Maybe better to use the sound financial situation to hold out for better compensated position, rather than use it to getby without pay.

But that’s a personal decision of course.

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