You know you're a startup when...

by Kelly O'Halloran
January 31, 2017

Startups sometimes have a reputation of working hard in order to play hard and celebrate team wins. However, it's important that the "play hard" aspect doesn't overshadow just how much time employees of these young companies often commit in order to ensure they have wins to celebrate in the first place. 

For many, a six- to seven-day work week is just the norm, as is getting into work really early — only to find your coworker already in the office, working hard right alongside you. 

With that in mind, we asked some startups around town to reflect on the startup grind by completing the sentence: "You know you're a startup when..."


Cassie Bannister is director of marketing for, which has 12 employees.

"You know you're a startup when you can sit both inside AND outside with your Topo Chico when the weather is beautiful in Austin, when you use oversized Post-its as window treatments in your office, when people randomly walk into your office and ask for a job with a beer in hand, and when you realize if you hire one more person, there won't be enough chairs in the conference room for everyone to sit on."

Brian Reichle is the CMO at ListingSpark. The startup has 20 employees. 

"You know you're a startup when Slack notifications overrun your phone and your life (/giphy so many giphies), dirty coffee cups have become a legitimate problem around the office, and a full night's sleep without thinking about how to put out the next fire is a distant memory."




Eric Abrahams is the founder and CEO at Meretz, which has a team of four employees.

"You know you're a startup when the folks at Epoch, Monkey Nest, Corner Bakery, Houndstooth and Russell's all know how you like your Chai Latte, and you've had four meetings in five coffee shops... before noon."



James Garvey is the CEO at Self Lender, which has 13 employees total. 

"You know you're a startup when the CEO has to go to the hospital because he hurt himself putting together office furniture."



Adam Arrigo is the CEO for TheWaveVR. The VR startup has a team of eight. 

"You know you're a startup when you tell someone to pick up the slack and they grab their laptop."



Angie Philips is the director of operations for OnceThere's team of eight. 

"You know you are a startup when....the window in the conference room has a bullet hole in it. It's patched with duct tape. (I don't actually think it is a bullet hole — I think it was a rock.) There are more dogs than shoes in the office. There is a weekly debate about who should take out the trash. The whole company can go to lunch, together, and sit at the same table." 



Ben Gabler is CEO of Their team has 17 employees. 

"You know you're a startup when you actually look forward to the office on Mondays."



John King is SparkCognition's director of marketing and communications. The expanding startup now has nearly 100 employees. 

"You know you’re a fast-growing startup when everyone at Ikea knows you!"



Paul Murphy is the CEO and co-founder of Clarify, which has three full-time employees and two part-time. 

"You know you’re a startup when you know what day your co-workers’ rent is due."



Images provided by company websites, Facebook and Twitter. 

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