Would you rather work for a large corporation or a start-up?

Which option, in your opinion, is better for PM growth? There are several advantages to working in a startup environment. For example, there is more opportunity for personal growth and responsibility. As well as more flexibility in the work schedule. However, startups also have their disadvantages such as the lack of established procedures and processes that exist in larger corporations. In addition, startups often have a more ambiguous career path and less structured training programs. It’s important to find an environment that supports your work style. Let’s discuss how to figure out which environment is best for you, and how to create an environment that suits your needs.


Although I come from a larger corporation, I would opt for startup more than a large corporation. Both have advantages and disadvantages. You’ll move more quickly and interact with more things in a startup, but there won’t be any formal training or mentoring. You will have to battle a lot of red tape issues at a large organization, but there will be several opportunities for professional growth. IMO…


@LuisNeilson, how do you feel a large organization, contributing significantly to professional development? In what manner?

And what is red tape? Please elaborate.


Red tape signifies hurdles and requests for permission. With very few people involved in decision-making, you can freely implement an idea in a Startup. Whereas there may be dozens of stakeholders, more constraints, and an overall more complex process in a large organization.


Yeah. I once briefly worked at a company where business and development were completely off page.

What resulted in red tape?

Business being dumb stuck on how quickly they wanted things and how. The quality suffered. Thank goodness I left, leaving the business to deal with its own dysfunction without realizing it’s done by them and not by others.

Our amazing product manager left the company.

One of the project managers continued pressing him for requirements, and when he responded that he needed to speak with UX for design first, she insisted that he provide the specifications immediately. Both of them engaged in heated debate. As usual, the meeting ended there.

When I asked why there hadn’t been a date instead of back and forth, she replied, “Because he is wrong.”

Yep. way to get work done.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that she took one of the two UX designers to create four icons for her internal document so she could get some appreciation? Her employer congratulated her for the wonderful documents; thus those four hours of effort were unnecessary. An instruction manual for a procedure that NO ONE wanted to follow.


In larger companies you have the privilege of established training programs, usually more experienced coworkers and supervisors, more users so more rigorous testing frameworks and data to work with - you can learn faster.

red tape


To be completely honest, I believe that culture has more to do with it than size.

However, the likelihood that the culture will be poor increases as an organization grows larger (even if the culture in your team is good, you are still stuck within the culture of a larger organization).

In contrast to the corporate job, I had before, I personally like the startup I work for now. But the startup I work for has an exceptional culture. When I look at some of the other startups around us, I’m not sure I would want to work in many of them.


Hello everyone. I’m new to Prowess and am already loving it being here.

As for the post by OP (@MariaWilson), here’s my opinion.
I would suggest a big organisation if you are just starting out. There are many opportunities for learning, and you won’t lose your job if you make a few mistakes. Startups, in my experience, aren’t very tolerant of PMs who make mistakes.


Hello @Marie. Welcome to the community. I’m glad that you’re enjoying being here.
A slightly differ with your opinion. If big businesses don’t like you, they’ll find a reason to fire you. That’s the other side of the spectrum.
However, startups might not have as much tolerence for errors.


Absolutely true, I’ve seen a lot of PMs at big organizations make a lot of mistakes, yet because they’re loved, they get promoted.


Yeah. I hate that. I still have a tough time with office politics. I’m extremely upfront and everything is a yes or no for me, but in large organizations, the person who gave the finest behind-the-neck kiss wins.


Unquestionably, I prefer large corporations. Knowing how to go through a corporate matrix is a real talent, and from there it is simpler to scale down than it is for others to do so quickly. Additionally, there will be larger budgets, resources, and project scopes. The negative? Slow to move, small errors can cost millions by the hour.


Thank you all for your responses. @MarieHamilton, Welcome to the community. Please feel free to voice your opinions. Absolutely enjoy being here.

How do you navigate a large corporate? Any tips? Any book refs?



My advice is to make friends despite your dislike for them. And you will despise many, I assure you. Pretend to lay your cards on the table, lead by putting their needs first, and lead via cooperation. Although it may sound manipulative, I don’t want to take up your time with a nonsensical response.

I work in technology and innovation. I have to enlist the help of every department in a business with more than 400K employees. Working together is an art. It’s a creative house of cards, not a kumbaya.

Find and learn from the employee who no one criticizes in your organization. For me fortunately, she is my boss, so I constantly see firsthand how she performs her magic.

I don’t have any books, but I’m willing to read what others recommend.


I HAVE to be more manipulative. I’m not good at this stuff and I’m too simple. So, anything helps!

How does one pretend putting their cards on the table without actually doing so?

Man, I wish I had a boss like yours to learn from!

I do come to hate a lot of people at work. I struggle with controlling my frustration and fluster when those feelings arise.


Delivering more profitable products, developing one’s craft and toolkit, acquiring power, and mentoring others, especially other product managers, are all signs of professional growth for a product manager.

This requires intensive teamwork and proper PM execution in a supportive work environment. In a startup, cooperation is more likely to be necessary for survival. A larger or more successful company, even a startup, has some knowledge of what it takes to operate a successful company. Finally, while it may seem like you can handle the PM part on your own, companies typically have very opinionated domain experts in charge. They might even be a liability for a small business that is having trouble.

In conclusion, if you are a seasoned PM, search for a mid-sized or a large but hungry organization. If you want to improve your PM abilities, look for a startup. It is better to work at a senior executive level in very large organizations.

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different challenges. Because there are so many more resources at a large corporation, I feel like the task is in some ways easier. I feel like I spend the majority of my time gaining support or playing political games. sheep-herding, too. At a startup, things move much more quickly and hands-on. Possibly a pro vs con. You definitely learn more. Analogy is in big Corp you’re like driving a slow boring truck with Google Maps on. At startup feels like you’re driving a faster car, but your GPS is off.

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