I saw a similar question but posed in a different way with few responses. So thought I'd ask specifically why you are doing a startup?
I had drinks with some friends last weekend and one guy I don't really know started drilling me. He was arrogant, bragging about his job at a big Japanese company, his big salary and bonuses (he's in sales) and basically couldn't understand why I'd make less money, especially working in marketing, to be at a startup.
Personally I love being able to make a difference, being part of a small team and making significant decisions that can help the company succeed or battle against failure.
I love working with a passionate team, busting butts to try and succeed.
I love the lack of politics (or at least a lot less of it).
I love the building and creating. Building a team of people, of outside partners and resources, getting customers for the first time. Love getting people excited about what we do.
I love the ability to play many different roles.
I love looking forward to getting to the office each day, working with the team of people, doing my job best I can, seeing successes, battling failures. Enjoying my job is more important than anything.
There are lots of not so good things and maybe of those points above could be accomplished in a big company. So this is really important for me as I take a step back and question myself.
Why are YOU doing a startup?