How do you personally define “really good” and what are your career goals? John Boyd, a well-known fighter pilot, told recruits to ask themselves the pivotal question as they advance in their career, “are you going to be someone who looks impressive, or are you going to do impressive things?”

All companies have name/brand value, whether it’s a large tech company or a fledgling startup. It’s who that value speaks to that matters. We all have visions of what “impressive” is, under the constraints we live in and the worldviews we have. Finding organizations that you identify with, where people are doing things that you find impressive, is what matters.

Work hard at shipping products and features from a set of principles you identify with, as well have personally developed. Do this over and over again and you’ll get good.

So, yes, name/brand is important, but you get to decide which set of values to couple yourself with. Once you’ve done this, you’ll realize that there are countless organizations where you’ll be desired and have the opportunity to grow.

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