Can I ask previous startup co-founders of a current startup CEO before joining ?

New / Eng nvrUndrEst
Mar 27 4 Comments


I'm interviewing with a startup. Idea seems good, office is good.

I found the ex-co-founders of previous startup of same CEO in Linkedin. His previous startup had good exit. But his current startup is just solo founder. Can I ask those ex-co-founders of his previous via LinkedIn about, what is it like to work with that CEO?

Also, can I send cold emails/messages to current employees of that startup to know about work culture, transparency, code base, compensation etc.?


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TOP 4 Comments
  • Microsoft UMbR31
    Yes, that's the first thing to do.

    Now, you might conned even after you do the check. But at least, you won't regret as much.
    Mar 27 0
  • Northrop Grumman / Eng HowCouldYu
    If you’re asking this question, you might not be ready for a start up
    Mar 27 1
    • New / Eng nvrUndrEst
      Partially agreed. It's not about the mistrust. I have heard cases were CEOs create code base with hard coding so that it works only for one case and got millions in funding. We also heard about theranos.

      Also what if the founder is lying about rising funds etc.
      Above all, being on h1b and working on a startup is a choice and risk. But it has to be a calculated risk.
      Mar 27
  • New / Mgmt

    New Mgmt

    Interests in investing, energy, crypto, cannabis, tech
    Yes. I would limit the questions to just one or two people. That can show diligence. Reaching out to too many of his colleagues would make you come off as distrustful, not a good way to start a relationship.

    Assume that whoever to call will immediately call the ceo and let him know you were checking in.

    If you’re checking in because you are suspicious, don’t take the job.
    Mar 27 0