I think it is a good idea for aspiring entrepreneurs to get some experience of working with a startup as well as some experience of working in a large company.
Here’s why: Working with a startup and working with a large company offer very different learnings and experiences for an aspiring entrepreneur.
For example, working in a startup helps an aspiring entrepreneur understand – how to make things work in a resource constrained environment; how to hire people when you are not a known brand; how to be flexible and nimble, etc. Working in a startup also helps aspiring entrepreneurs understand -how business models evolve; how a gradual ramp-up is implemented; how a business plan has to be adjusted; how quickly things can change… and how assumptions are tested and hence, adjustments made in goals, strategy and implementation plans.
On the other hand, working in a large company helps aspiring entrepreneurs learn about – the power of processes and systems; the challenges of working at scale; the way to handle HR issues when there are multiple layers in an organization when, (unlike a startup), you don’t know your colleagues by name. Working in a large company also teaches aspiring entrepreneurs about business focus, being goal & objective oriented and about increasing profitability.
In effect, both environments – large company and startups – offer experiences that are varied and very useful when you yourself will start your own venture.