@akindolu drew parallels from the traditional workplace in his post which fell a bit slopside with the present real situation for local startups...let me put it this way the worse startup workplace is reasonably better than the worse traditional workplace.
Before startups and it's culture as we know it emerged in '10, there were and still are businesses that are built on the bone heaps of employees, strawed with their bleeding flesh and patched with their strung out sinews from time to time. Ask any professional who has worked with a Newspapaer Company, any. Just close your eyes and draw a witness. It's horrid.
Remember these are our uncle, aunties, or now aged parents. So when they/we hear this layoffs only after months of engagement, it sounds too familiar. The impromptu nature signals a brutal way of dealing with employees, as a result getting a gig with startups may be labelled a bad start.
According to Jason, 'Folks may get screwed over in SF all the time', but here employees are used for blood ritual, and I half mean it figuratively. I do not for a minute consider we have any of those things in common, not out loud.
However here's the silverlining; our Startup culture is borrowed. We took their graffiti office walls, their my-work-lounge-is-better-than-where-i-live level decor, and also their respect for contract.
Startup companies have been reasonably fair so far in their treatment of employees mostly because they are tied to a standard. I believe so.
But if you're thinking job security with working with a startup then you're on your own, and sadly but surely job security has been built into our psyche for evaluating opportunities. Long term hopes are quite easily the most conditional of items as per your engagement with a startup. It's built into your employment draft, tied into your contract.
I think in essence my point is folks don't have it that bad in startups until you start considering the lack of job security inherent in them.