Joining a brand-new company can be a risky decision, but sometimes it pays off. In profiles of the very first employees to be hired by Google, Amazon, and Subway, The Wall Street Journal reveals what it was like to work for some of today's best-known businesses back before they made it big. Google's first hire, Craig Silverstein, says that the company's early days resembled being in grad school, with late night coding sessions and an informal structure. At Amazon, things were a bit different for its first hire, Shel Kaphan. Kaphan says the early years at Amazon were stressful and high-pressure, even though he wasn't certain exactly where the company was headed. Kaphan tells the Journal, "I couldn't envision at that time — and I don't think [founder Jeff Bezos] could either — how big and diverse Amazon could become."