Very important principle: companies don't hire you for you to learn, but for you to make value for them, starting day one.

Large vs small companies:

We shouldn't base our judgment on whether it's a large or small company, but whether it's a good company.

If it had to be ranked, it'd be good large companies > good small companies > bad small companies > bad large companies

Good large companies for most people are probably the best option: they bring you good work habits and present you a wider opportunity for your next jump.

Though, small companies are often the way to change your destiny if it's a great company.

How to tell if a company is good or bad?

For a large company, it's good if: HR find employees with this company's experience to be very desirable; this company is constantly innovating products (=many more opportunities);

For a smaller company, it's good if: they raised VC rounds recently (Crunchbase)? Do they have awesome leaders or cofounders that are worth your time to follow and work with?

Regardless, the team from good companies are prone to making things better together. Whereas the employees of average companies only do what they are supposed to do, don't ever want to take responsibility, and are only there for the salary.

During work:

Zhang Yiming, the founder and CEO of ByteDance (maker of TikTok and Toutiao + world's highest valuation private tech company) always worked on multiple projects with different teams when he was in other companies. He does not restrict himself to only work on what he's meant to be working on.

Of course, that's not to say that you shouldn't focus on what you are meant to do. You should try your best to thoroughly understand and execute your core roles. Until then, don't try to offer strategic advice to the company, as it's not very trustworthy or reliable (I am guilty of this too).

Write things down somewhere. If your managers and colleagues do not have to repeat what they say to you, that's a great advantage. Being reliable is a rare trait and a great advantage.

If you can't do it or finish it, don't make the promise. If you don't understand the requirement, clarify by repeating what makes sense to you to make sure. Do what you say, say what you do.

Make sure to report the completion rate, progress, challenges of your work every once in a while, especially when it's tied to other's work. Don't focus on reporting the process, focus on reporting the results. If the project you have at hand is taking too long for you to solve by yourself, ask for help, don't let it stop in your hands and affect others who are involved.

About starting an extraordinary business:

You can't really quantify and rank how hard it is to create a business that's worth a few hundreds of thousands, a few million, a few billion. So, if you have the option to do a big business, why not? If they are worth about the same time and effort?

Money/capital to start a business is not the key. If you have the ability and the right business, you can leverage other's capital.