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Engineers Do Better in Startups

16 Feb

Photo By Dierken

I actually agree with a lot of what Bindu says. I started a fairly successful Web 1.0 company in the 1990’s. At the time we had to hand roll even the most basic infrastructure to get the service up and running. Waterfall development was the rule. It was necessary to raise a lot more money because even basic services like Paychex, outsourced HR, Hosting, etc… were not available across a spectrum of what a functional company needs.

We still had a very successful exit as investors/employees received a 27x’s money return. Really hard difficult work though putting an entire company together.

Much different today. I recently came back and decided to do another web startup. We funded in 2010. It has been nothing short of mind boggling to see the breadth of technology and business services available. What is more, the variety of venture funds available that actually service early stage and seed companies is equally mind blowing. The talent pools are diverse and incredibly smart. Also, because there are so many services and outsourced resources available, it isn’t necessary to have a huge employment base. This means less dilution to the company equity structure. This is hugely in favor of investors and employees.

While the pay and job security are perceived as being superior with a large existing company like a Google, Facebook, or even Groupon, in reality there are several downsides: (keep reading >>)

Thinking About Your Stock Options

24 Jan
Recently, a recruiter posted the following on the SF Ruby on Rails Meetup Board:

“Hello everyone, For those of you who were not at the meet up the other night, I wanted to let you know that I am currently looking for Ruby on Rails developers for the fastest growing tech company in history! The company just turned down a multi-billion dollar offer and they are expected to go public this year. Now is a perfect opportunity to join a great company and work alongside some of the best engineering and entrepreneurial minds in the Silicon Valley. If anyone is interested in hearing more feel free to call or email me. Referral’s are appreciated.”

A discussion about startup equity ensued. I decided to respond. Here is my edited reply: