Sunday, November 10, 2013

The first rule of Eat Club is, we do not talk about Eat Club.

The second rule of Eat Club is, WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT EAT CLUB!

I look around, and I see a lot of you eating.

Which means a lot of you have been breaking the first two rules of Eat Club…

Okay, I apologize to those of you not familiar with the movie Fight Club, but every time I get an email from Eat Club, this bastardization from Tyler Durden’s monologue goes through my head – I couldn’t hold it back any further.

What is Eat Club?  They take lunch orders over the web, offering a number of different options, and they deliver a meal to your door.  The company I work for now buys us lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Most of those lunches come through Eat Club.

The point?  Well, the point is about one of the unusual dynamics of working for a startup.  I’ve never had a company regularly buy me lunch.  There are so many things I’ve experienced here that are so different than any work experience I’ve had before.  As I look around from my little desk amidst the overcrowded office, another difference becomes clear.  90% of the employees are roughly the ages of my kids.  I don’t know if this is common among start ups, but based upon the way we work, I have to believe that, to a degree, this is young person’s game.

A fundamental element that makes startups different is the entrepreneurial spirit behind them.  Like small established businesses, they can bear a strong imprint of their founders, but there is a temporary feel about this.  And this temporary sensation can be positive or negative.  But the temporary sensation is truly a part of the experience, at least mine.

Money comes from Venture Capitalists and clients, doles out to different aspects of the company to seed growth.  One area might get great attention, the other might be temporarily neglected.  There is a constant state of speculation.  Will it work?  What made it work?  Can we repeat it?  Is the road we are going down the right road?  If it isn’t, what does that mean?

The truth is, at least in my little corner of the startup universe, there is never a day when I wake up and know what I will do today.

Well, except for one thing:  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I know I will eat well for free.  I know that around noon will come the delivery person with the bright orange bags that contain the lunch I ordered earlier in the morning.

Three days a week, I’ll have a good meal, and if I’m not too busy, I might have it on the big balcony with some of my coworker, and enjoy the mercifully temperate northern California weather.

So, I guess now I’ve broken the first two rules of  Eat Club.  I hope Tyler will forgive me.

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