Ask DN: Take a job at Google or app with $1.5mil in funding?

over 9 years ago from , Designer at Google

Hi DN Community, I graduate from school this week and I've been fortunate enough to receive an opportunity to work as a Visual Designer at Google as well as be the lead designer for a social app that has received $1.5 million in first round funding. I want to take the job where I can learn and grow the most for the future.

Argument from the app: • Entry level designers are the "slumdogs of the creative industry" and are stuck doing the "bitch work for 2-4 years before a promotion ever comes." • "Google isn't thought of in the creative industry as a resume highlight for designers, only developers." • "Redesigning one of the fastest growing apps will propel your portfolio and resume ten times faster than Google will"

Argument for Google: • I had never been challenged like I was during the interview process and learned a ton in just six hours, makes me think about how much I'll learn in six days, months, etc. • I'd be at what's widely regarded as the best company to work for, and all the opportunity and benefits that come with that • I'd be the dumbest guy in the room and while that can be daunting, what a learning experience

Obviously you can't make the decision for me and I haven't given a whole lot of context (I'm a little nervous to post this because it's personal), but I do want to hear some general wisdom from a community who has insight and experience in the industry much more than I do. Thanks!


  • Ryan MurphyRyan Murphy, over 9 years ago

    Go for Google, pay off your school fees. Set yourself up for a few years, then have a run at startup life, whether your own or not. $1.5m first round isn't that big, certainly not assured of stability.

    Learn a lot, then be a lead.

    2 points
  • Benjamin FritzBenjamin Fritz, over 9 years ago

    Go for Google. Great first experience straight after graduation.

    2 points
  • barry saundersbarry saunders, over 9 years ago

    I can't tell you which one is better, but I will point out a lot of Googlers leave to do startups (and then get acquired by Google) so if you go to Google, you'll definitely still get to do a startup later (and come back to Google, too) .

    Also a startup can burn through 1.5 million pretty quickly, Google is probably the more stable option.

    2 points
    • Justin Barber, over 9 years ago

      Thanks Barry! You make a good point, there will always be the hot new startup to join but an entry to Google doesn't happen everyday.

      1 point
      • barry saundersbarry saunders, over 9 years ago

        Definitely, you'll learn a lot at Google and having Google on your CV is going to mean more than X Startup. And I wouldn't stress that Google isn't necessarily known for design - they deal with hard design problems everyday, they just have a very data-centric approach for some of their projects (eg google.com) but there's wide open spaces in other areas (android, glass, etc). The new Maps is pretty design-oriented, too.

        I have a brother-in-law who works there, and the stories he tells about the effort that goes into a tiny microinteraction (such as pulling a location into a calendar cell) certainly spark my design interest. It's a different scale to doing a mobile app, for sure - it's part of a big product, but then, it's something millions of people use every day.

        0 points
  • Poyi ChenPoyi Chen, over 9 years ago

    Go with Google, you'll most likely learn a lot in a short period of time with a stable jobs. You can probably pick up a startup job easily after Google and experience the startup life then.

    As someone else mentioned, 1.5 mil funding in a startup burns quick.

    0 points