December 18 2015

How to still be a person while working at a startup

At Lamp Post Group, we obviously love and appreciate the world of technology. We believe in startups and the entrepreneurial spirit that fuel the tech world. It’s an epic time to be a part of this community. Innovative. Synergizing. Disruptive.



Image thanks to Flikr Creative Commons 

Oh, buzzwords.


But let’s take a breath and calm the heck down. Let’s talk tech etiquette. Techiquette…? Etechiquette….? Nevermind.


I’ve been working in the tech community for a hot minute now. First in Atlanta, then Austin and now Chattanooga, and I have a few things to say to some folks I have encountered along the way.


Stop texting/emailing/tweeting while you’re talking to someone.

I get it. You’re very important. You handle marketing for a startup that sends random puppy pictures via twitter to boost social media engagement for other startups that sell software that tells other marketing people the data of the users of apps of other startups. Big important stuff.

But look up and talk with sound words to the person who is sitting directly across from you. Be a person.


Stop introducing yourself only to the “important” people in a room.

When you walk into a room and see some important people and introduce yourself to them and yet omit the person sitting next to them because they are not important, you’re a bad person.


Stop trying to be Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs is not everything. Just because he got away with being a tyrant at Apple, doesn’t mean that success hinges on being a tyrant. There are plenty of great leaders that are kind and have variety in their wardrobe. So, if you treat your team poorly and tell yourself what an amazing leader you are because everyone is afraid of you and/or hates you, you’re a bad person. And you look like a tool.


Stop being entitled.

You are very lucky if you get to work in this industry. You make decent to great money, and you aren’t digging in a coal mine for 13 hours a day and slowly developing lung cancer. So stop complaining about your parking spot or your non-ergonomic chair or how the lighting is not optimum for productivity. Do what you can to improve your work environment. That’s a great thing, actually- To push for quality conditions that make work enjoyable. But calm down about it, and don’t create drama where there really isn’t any.


There are many many reasons I love this industry, and there are many many people with whom I love to work in this industry. I work with fantastic leaders who actually do care about their employees’ happiness. I have met some of the most optimistic go-getters who truly inspire me to do great things in this life. I have been given an opportunity to prove myself even though I don’t have 20 years experience in tech. I work with people who see the potential in a person and don’t fixate on the level of education. Tech is great in that regard.
But it isn’t perfect. No industry is, and we have to acknowledge when we eff up. So, check yourself.


This post was written by Katlyn Whittenburg, the Social Media Manager at Lamp Post Group. Stay up to date on what we are doing! Follow us on:

Twitter – Instagram – Facebook – Pinterest