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The Daily

Are You Just Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic?

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 2, 2015
AbandonShipCompany loyalty is definitely important, but so is basic self-preservation, and so when it looks like the business is headed for a spectacular collapse, it may be better to look towards the exit sooner rather than later. But how can you tell the difference between a firm going through a rough patch and a firm that's basically a sinking ship? One entrepreneur, according to an article in Quartz, has a few answers. 

He offers literally dozens of signs to look out for, some of which can be applied to small start-ups and others at larger, established businesses. 

If you're at a large company, some of the things to look out for can be: 
  • Managers more concerned about meeting metrics than the underlying business fueling those metrics; 
  • bad leaders are shuffled around instead of let go because the company knows it can't find replacements; 
  • by contrast, rapid turnover of top executives: you've had five CEOs in as many years; 
  • the dental plan is the most attractive thing about working there
At startups, just some of the warning signs can include: 
  • The CEO keeps everything secret; 
  • when a product doesn't sell, the company blames the customers for not getting it; 
  • you get free lunch but have no customers; 
  • people there can't stand each other