I will be quitting the small startup I work for soon. Do I tell them honestly why I’m quitting? That they’ve created a toxic environment? That I think the company is going to fail? That the founder is driving employees out with their entitlement?


  • No, don’t tell them any of that. If they want your advice, they’ll ask for it. Be professional and courteous, and say as little as possible (e.g. “I just want to explore other opportunities”). There’s no point in burning bridges.

  • Ask the founder/CEO if they want your honest opinion, if they do, tell them. Otherwise, as the other poster said, no point in burning bridges.

    “That I think the company is going to fail?”

    That’s totally wrong – if, then you should say “Why I think the company is going to fail”. No one needs someone saying “you won’t make it you won’t make it”. Be constructive, not destructive.

    There is no need to be totally quiet and if you see something is totally wrong/off, just be sure to tell the founders/management in a polite and straight way.

  • Just leave quietly. The reason is, dome people cannot handle criticism even if constructive. As an employee, your view wouldn’t matter really. Plus, the startup world is small, and there are major egos at play.

    Do you interviews and move on.

  • Hmmm…telling a start up founder they’re going to fail? That’s called Tuesday afternoon. All feedback is helpful. I would want to know.

    • +1, I would want to know too if I’ve messed up somewhere and created a bad environment for my team.

      But not everyone wants to know, so the sequence I’d take is:

      1) get your new job lined up

      2) give your notice

      3) invite the CEO out to lunch, be polite

      4) and if he shows curiosity on why you are leaving, give it to him straight

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