Friday, April 19, 2013

The Rules of Engagement

For Software Developers

Some rules of working, in particular in start-up companies...
  • I you are self employed or 1099.  Ignore any promises of a bonus to make up the tax differences at the end of the year.  Compared to W2 you must make about 20% more to account for medical insurance, self-employment tax, and in general, risk.  So $50 per hour @ 2000 hours per year, is not the same as $100,000 / year as an employee.
  • Any stock option promises should be discounted to about 10% of what they vaguely quote they will be worth.
  • If you have the meeting... "We are short this payroll, but will get money on Monday and everyone will get paid".  Leave immediately.  If you are not getting paid, do not work even one hour.  It is not about your loyalty to the company, it is about the company's loyalty to you. (Exception: if you own more than 30% of the company then you are the company.)
  • Do not ignore the signs of failure.  There is always the hope that "things are about to get better".

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