[Chugalug] Working for Facebook ...

Eric Wolf ebwolf at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 22:50:35 UTC 2013

Most companies in "startup mode" do not like you to work on outside
projects. It's not a matter of being jerks. It's a matter of getting 100%
out of the best people. They want people with a vested interest in the
company's success. SolidFire recently bought out the contracts that several
of us were working under, made us respectable salary offers and bona fide
equity in the company. SolidFire also dissuades people from working too
much. There was a week during our recent stop ship burn-down where the
company brought in dinner for a week with the hope we'd stick around for a
few hours. My policy was, for that week, I'd accomplish one task that I'd
normally put off until the next day. I was usually far from the last one
out of the office. I did accomplish noticeably more work that week. And I
was surprised they ended it after one week when they realized we were
further from shipping than they thought. Developer burn out is the last
thing you need when you are trying to get something out the door.

I don't know anyone at Facebook but I have several friends at Google. The
biggest drawback at Google is the commute (if you are in Sunnyvale). But my
friends at Google Boulder love it. One "difference" between Boulder and the
Bay Area is that most startups here are founded by people with a track
record of success long enough that the Sand Hill Road VCs will come visit.
This track record also means they have a better handle on how to manage
people for their next success.

And is there tech going on outside the Bay Area? Sure. Just like movies are
made outside of Hollywood. What's missing is the feedback loop, "vibe", of
success and failure, casual contact, technical intensity... I've helped
organize GIS-related unconferences in DC, Denver and Silicon Valley. In
Denver, people wanted to learn how to use the tools better to get a better
job. In DC, people wanted to learn how to employ new tools to change the
world. In Silicon Valley, people wanted to invent new tools.


Eric B. Wolf                           720-334-7734

On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 4:25 PM, Dan Lyke <danlyke at flutterby.com> wrote:

> Oh, and back to the original Facebook query:
> The son of a friend of mine recently took a job there, and is
> considering leaving because of their policies and agreements about
> outside projects. Read any employment contracts carefully.
> Dan
> _______________________________________________
> Chugalug mailing list
> Chugalug at chugalug.org
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