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Startup Employees As an Organized Labor Group

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the crowdsource-my-pension dept.

Businesses 107

An anonymous reader writes "Last Friday may turn out to have marked the beginning of Silicon Valley's organized labor movement--startup employees met in Palo Alto 'to share war stories and to start developing what organizers called a 'Startup Employee Equity Bill of Rights'.'" That probably should include the right to work late, for little pay, and to trade less certainty now for greater hoped-for benefits down the road. If you've been a startup employee, or started one of your own, what would you put on the wishlist?

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Right to not bathe and hit on all women (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551269)

Don't forget the lack of soap, drinking the last cup of coffee from the communal pot without refilling it, beer in the fridge, and every drooling fan boy saying "I love you" to any women in the company.

ChipWhisperer: An Open-Source Platform for Hardwar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551311)

ChipWhisperer: An Open-Source Platform for Hardware Embedded Security Research

- Document (PDF): http://cryptome.org/2014/03/ch... [cryptome.org]
- View PDF online: http://view.samurajdata.se/ [samurajdata.se]

Partial quote from 1st page (1/18):

"This paper introduces a complete side channel analysis toolbox inclusive of the analog capture hardware, target device, capture software, and analysis software. The highly modular design allows use of the hardware and software with a variety of existing systems. The hardware uses a synchronous capture method which greatly reduces the required sample rate, while also reducing the data storage requirement and improving synchronization of traces. The synchronous nature of the hardware lends itself to fault injection, and a module to generate glitches of programmable width is also provided. The entire design (hardware and software) is open-source, and maintained in a publicly available repository. Several long example capture traces are provided for researchers looking to evaluate standard cryptographic implementations."

Keywords: side-channel analysis, acquisition, synchronization, FPGA

Re:ChipWhisperer: An Open-Source Platform for Hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551545)

Why are you spamming us with your hipster startup "Makerrrrr" project?!?!? Keep that shit off of Slashdot. Go noodle around with your shitty amateur-hour Tinker Toy solder-blobbed shitbox and let us know when you've learned what end of a soldering iron to hold, son.

Re:ChipWhisperer: An Open-Source Platform for Hard (1)

Kremmy (793693) | about 9 months ago | (#46552287)

Geek card, please.

Re:ChipWhisperer: An Open-Source Platform for Hard (1)

qpqp (1969898) | about 9 months ago | (#46553955)

Besides being completely off-topic, this is actually an interesting project.

if 'stock' is part of your deal (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46551313)

you are already being scammed. in the 35 yrs I've been in software in the bay area and boston area, I've known 2 people (at most) who made out well from shared in their startups. the first level bosses did ok but not great and the execs and vc's all bought new houses and cars (and boats and ...).

face it, wall street is a scam and stocks for you and me are a scam.

work for salary. don't work AT ALL for stock.

so many times I've seen it (even to myself) where they walk you out just before your first or 2nd vesting. it happens!!

do not work or even care about stock. you can't write a rent check on stock promises.

that's all that needs to be said. its a scam for those who are connected and rich. you and I will never be connected or rich. face it, the american dream is not there for folks like us.

I laugh at those giving away time from their lives and famlies for 'promises of stock money'. you could not be more stupid to do this. you get ONE chance at life and there's no reason to work 80 hrs each week and deprive your family and yourself from valuable life time. you can't get time in your life back.

Re:if 'stock' is part of your deal (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 9 months ago | (#46551361)

I think you mean "stock options", or even worse, "phantom stock appreciation rights". I have tons of those from failed startups.

But actual stock in a going concern from a company already trading (yes I know, that's not a startup) can actually be pretty good. I joined Cigna after they fucked their stock by rolling out a new customer service platform in the 90's that sucked balls and dropped their membership by 15%.

The stock I got as the price gradually recovered sold for a nice sum, while people there from before the disaster bemoaned they were still under water for most of their stock.

Re:if 'stock' is part of your deal (1)

alen (225700) | about 9 months ago | (#46551399)

the 49ners never made any money either, the people selling them the picks and shovels and food made out like bandits
same here. VC's handle the money and take their cut no matter what. they probably don't care what they invest in

Re:if 'stock' is part of your deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551411)

If you do get stock options, be sure to check if they are common or preferred stock and value them accordingly. Google the difference as common stock options can often be worth very little, if anything, while the preferred stock options holders make out like bandits.

Re:if 'stock' is part of your deal (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#46551529)

Yep, the same thing happened to the auto workers and the pensions they were promised if they took lower wages and less benefits. Turns out none of the money went into the pensions, and the thieves got away scot-free. Who says crime doesn't pay?

Re:if 'stock' is part of your deal (2)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#46551681)

Startups tend to employee young or inexperienced people. They also tend to not use cash for employees. They focus on the lottery aspect of the startup, that you might get huge sums of money later on. It is a sophisticated model. For someone just out of college, how has fewer expenses than a mid career person, it can make sense. One might gain experience, and one might make money. I would say research the type of stock options, the risks, and assume you will never get them. Be aware of the significant tax liabilities. I have seen people wiped out because they owned stock that then became worthless due to tax liabilities and leveraging. Organizing mostly happens to older employees who looking to negotiate with the employer for safer or better compensated or more protected situations. Tech work is not in general dangerous. It is generally better paid than other jobs at the same skill level. Outsourcing is already widespread so that boat has left the dock.

Re:if 'stock' is part of your deal (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46553229)

work for salary. don't work AT ALL for stock.

Today, very true. During the tech bubble, people only didn't get rich because they didn't cash out, because they were greedy fuckers. I know oodles of people who were worth millions or even tens of millions on paper and failed to cash out any of those millions even though some of their options were vested. Some of them became broke, some are doing okay, some are totally destitute and will be forever because they bought crap on credit and the fallout was not pretty. I know a few people who cashed out at a half million or so and bought a house and are doing very well thanks.

I laugh at those giving away time from their lives and famlies for 'promises of stock money'. you could not be more stupid to do this. you get ONE chance at life and there's no reason to work 80 hrs each week and deprive your family and yourself from valuable life time. you can't get time in your life back.

That's right, so only work for a startup if it's doing something you believe in. Or, you know, you're really desperate. And then get as much of your recompense in cash as possible.

Don't blame the victim (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46556117)

Seriously, how many people back then asked to be paid in junk stock? A lot of it was given instead of other benefits, or even as a bait and switch with one guy I know that had been fooled into thinking he was getting that much in salary (and the evil bastards had an IP court case over this previous work hanging over his head to "join or die").

This is why dogs are smarter than people (1)

TarPitt (217247) | about 9 months ago | (#46554427)

No dog ever accepted stock options as a reward.

To motivate a dog to do your bidding requires something more tangible (likely edible), while humans will accept vague promises of an abstract future reward.

Re:This is why dogs are smarter than people (1)

ranton (36917) | about 9 months ago | (#46554621)

No dog ever accepted stock options as a reward.

To motivate a dog to do your bidding requires something more tangible (likely edible), while humans will accept vague promises of an abstract future reward.

I completely agree with you. The difference between humans and any other animal is our ability to comprehend the future and understand that delayed satisfaction can be very beneficial.

Nope'; Do not work for money (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 months ago | (#46555491)

Work on your own ideas. Seriously, start your own business.

Re:if 'stock' is part of your deal (1)

phorm (591458) | about 9 months ago | (#46556649)

work for salary.

NO, work for hourly if possible. I have seen (and been) many sysadmin positions where
    salary=go cheap on vendors/hardware/staffing because we can overload our existing sysadmins with after-hours work for free.

Unless you want to be working 10-20+ hours extra a week because somebody isn't willing to spend an extra couple hundred bucks a month on decent hardware or hosting... salary isn't always a good option either

Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 9 months ago | (#46551339)

"Last Friday may turn out to have marked the beginning of Silicon Valley's organized labor movement" should read "Last Friday may turn out to have marked the end of Silicon Valley." Once "organized labor" successfully infects an industry, it turns in to a dead industry walking.

Since tech startups are particularly location-independent, expect to see more of them started elsewhere (and outside the United States entirely) and fewer of them to start in Silicon Valley.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 9 months ago | (#46551499)

This is simply a consequence of the fact that tech startup remuneration schemes just don't work anymore, and people have been coasting for the last decade hoping the 90s would come back, and they just aren't. You can't just take programmers who would make over six figures in the market, pay them a pittance and stock, and then never have the stock pay off -- this'll work the first few times, but not for years.

We also can't ignore the fact that, though we measure "innovation" in the number of startups that are founded, a lot of these startups are just really dumb, unsustainable ideas that would be much better off being developed by larger companies (if at all), and the whole reason its a startup, and not a MS/Apple/Google R&D project, is to give the founders a big payday from VC funding rounds, and to give the venture capitalists a big payday off of some patent the company will file. Yay intellectual property! It's just a big rent collection scheme dressed up as entrepreneurship.

Tech startups are rarely designed to make money, they aren't really supposed to, they are really just a fiction to get the connected parties as much cash as physically possible before the whole thing burns out. It's been a scam for a decade, but a lot of tech people are deeply emotionally invested in the system, because it means catered meals and beers in the fridge and Ferraris for everyone up and down the Camino Real and satisfies their deeply-held emotional belief that being a computer nerd entitles you to vast wealth and privilege, because you're "reinventing the world" or some such nonsense.

A very similar thing happened in the film industry between the early twenties, where it was basically a gold rush from the end of World War I to the invention of sound film, and there were hundreds of little fly-by-night producers making movies left and right, and there was tons of "innovation" in the sense that a lot of content was getting made, but everyone under the producer was making nothing. Then everyone unionized.

A lot of tech will say in Silicon Valley, it's just too close to Stanford and all the good people. But, they'll actually have to be paid for the work they do, in money and not in magic beans.

Re:Good luck with that (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 9 months ago | (#46551729)

A lot of tech will say in Silicon Valley, it's just too close to Stanford and all the good people

As someone who works in Cambridge next to MIT, I'm skeptical that Stanford has all the good people.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 9 months ago | (#46552085)

Stipulated.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553121)

>As someone who works in Cambridge next to MIT, I'm skeptical that Stanford has all the good people.

What person with a lick of sense would want to live in the climate of Massachusetts?

of course (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 9 months ago | (#46554381)

I would think that would be obvious since "all the good people" go to Yale.

Re:of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46556027)

>"all the good people" go to Yale

yes, and they both graduated, way back in 1814 or so.

Re:Good luck with that (2)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 9 months ago | (#46552093)

This is simply a consequence of the fact that tech startup remuneration schemes just don't work anymore, and people have been coasting for the last decade hoping the 90s would come back, and they just aren't. You can't just take programmers who would make over six figures in the market, pay them a pittance and stock, and then never have the stock pay off -- this'll work the first few times, but not for years.

One of the problems is that the number of people who are actually eager to work under these conditions is quite large. I've found that some people like startups because they cannot handle working for large companies at all. Also, I've found that some people who work for a startup that actually made it get very arrogant and decide that it succeeded because they were geniuses and any old company they join in the future simply cannot fail because they'll be part of it. It's been a little amusing to watch from a distance as some of these people have to keep looking for new jobs because the new startups they went to don't make it.

Re:Good luck with that (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 9 months ago | (#46552895)

One of the problems is that the number of people who are actually eager to work under these conditions is quite large.

I work in the film industry and the problem is really similar -- this is why Hollywood has a guild system. It's really the only way to make sure that there's any reward at all for being good at your job and sticking with it; it also makes things like health care and retirement planning much more portable and less dependent upon employers.

There's a collective action problem, particularly in businesses where the work isn't a commodity, where high-skill labor exists and employers may want to hire it, but competition with other firms on prices keeps their margins low, and thus keeps them from ever being able to afford it. It just becomes easier to hire whatever is churning out of the school system, burn those people out, and then move on to the next group. You can make a lot of money but it's not sustainable, eventually the employers in such a trade will tend to turn to collusion or lobbying to keep high-quality competitors out of their market (many national film industries work this way, like Italy's and Spain's).

Re: Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552181)

And there's one of the main problems: Stanford.

VCs, which are ex-Stanford, see a sea of cheap labor with ideas and no experience. Who cares about unions when all you need to sell to Wall Street is the idea for that ipo payout. It's the shareholders that pickup the mess, and the unions will blow down the house of cards.

We already know wall st is a casino with lots of crooks. We're going to find the valley is a Stanford country club with lots of crooks.

Re:Good luck with that (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551519)

Once "organized labor" successfully infects an industry, it turns in to a dead industry walking.

That explains why Germany and France - which have maintained a healthy relationship between the two sides of industry - are third world backwaters. It also shows why North Korea - where even whispering the idea of worker rights will get your whole family shipped off to Gitmo++ - is at the forefront of tech innovation.

You, sir, are a buffoon. A buffoon who allows families like mine - private school educated, holidays around the world, continuing to live off investments like my parents for the last 2-3 decades - to exploit dullards like yourself. You want something better, you do need to organise your labour. And I am quite okay if you do, because I could have way less and still enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle. As it is, though, you are too easy to fool into giving me even more.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 9 months ago | (#46552855)

You, sir, are a buffoon. A buffoon who allows families like mine - private school educated, holidays around the world, continuing to live off investments like my parents for the last 2-3 decades - to exploit dullards like yourself. You want something better, you do need to organise your labour. And I am quite okay if you do, because I could have way less and still enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle. As it is, though, you are too easy to fool into giving me even more.

Thanks for the laugh. I needed that.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 9 months ago | (#46554517)

We'll give you Germany but France pretty much is a third world country in many ways

Re:Good luck with that (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#46552599)

The thing I'm trying to see in this is, how does the supposed overworked startup tech worker differ from the founders and/or management in the same company? Starting a new business generally isn't easy, and generally involves you putting a lot of time and work into it with a good chance that you'll see zero return and a loss of your own investment.

Likewise, if you're working for such a person who is in such a situation, you're likely to inherit that situation for as long as you work there or until the firm becomes profitable. This really isn't the time or place for organized labor, which could very well nip a startup in the bud.

Given that Silicon Valley is mostly what it is due to its startups: If labor laws become too problematic, then Silicon Valley becomes Detroit (and people like Michael Moore will blame capitalism.)

Re:Good luck with that (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 9 months ago | (#46552935)

Given that Silicon Valley is mostly what it is due to its startups

Hrm, I'd say the the Valley is what it is mainly due to California's education spending in the 60s and 70s, and the presence of a very large and important land grant university in the city, those things are what caused the startups. It certainly wasn't due to Palo Alto's state and municipal tax situation, if that was a factor, Google would have been founded in Austin.

If labor laws become too problematic, then Silicon Valley becomes Detroit

Trade unionism is what workers do when the law is too friendly to employers.

The Detroit issue is important, it'll depend ultimately on how workers in SV decide to organize -- if they create a guild-like system, like a German works council system, things will probably be just fine.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#46553953)

Trade unionism is what workers do when the law is too friendly to employers.

Regardless, you can't work for a budding company and expect to have better working conditions than everybody else who works there (even its founders.) It's just very unrealistic, and if the law required that among these firms then they'd just find some place else to do it instead. That is what would result in the Detroit situation.

In Detroit it wasn't so much about automakers leaving as it was about new automakers wanting nothing to do with it, and then existing ones needing to expand, and after they expand they find that their Detroit facilities are performing poorly on their outputs due to featherbedding, so they eventually close up; the ones that don't close go belly up instead because they fail to compete. No matter which way it happens, the result is the same. You just can't have labor laws that make it impossible for a business to compete.

Forcing everybody to the same labor standards isn't a solution either, namely because not everybody wants the same labor standards. Cultural differences easily influence this, for example the French basically look at even Google employees as slave laborers even when most Google employees really enjoy working there. And pretty much all Americans look at the Japanese and Koreans the same way. In addition to that, forcing reduced labor causes bad economic problems (and is the key reason why France's economy sucks bad compared to its neighbors; see the "lump of labor fallacy" on sites like wikipedia for a full rundown of why.)

Re:Good luck with that (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46556149)

I'd say Detroit is more of an example of why you don't hand management of a large multinational company to your idiot relative and his drinking buddies. They had decades to deal with a loss of market share to the Japanese and they had their own people showing them how to do it with some of the models made outside of the US. GM and Ford plants which paid far more to workers than in Detroit managed to succeed while Detroit did not. When it gets down to it wages are a tiny portion of the total costs of making a car anyway.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 9 months ago | (#46554191)

Nope. Unions have been trying to organize tech workers everywhere for decades without success. Getting 300 people at this meeting (with no word on how many were actually tech workers and how many were shills) is nothing.

Horse has bolted (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46556123)

Silicon Valley started dying when a lot of barriers were put in place for people to bring their good ideas to Silicon Valley and find somebody to fund them.

The ability to exercise options and sell stock at (0)

oscrivellodds (1124383) | about 9 months ago | (#46551363)

the same time the a-holes who start the company do when it finally goes public.

Silly people (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 9 months ago | (#46551385)

They want this and that. I hire my people and pay them money, some people work for cash, some are on cheques. These guys are apparently not getting paid, they work for a promise of a huge payout down the road, that's the risk that they take. They reduce the risk of the founders by allowing the founders to have cheaper (or maybe free) work force.

So now they are complaining that they are not getting similar treatment in different companies, companies that have no profit model, companies that only exist as long as there is inflation created by the government, which drives a ton of funny money towards their 'investors', who are anxious to prop up anybody with yet another bright idea of creating a free (as in free beer) service that people will flock to. The model is: only eyeballs matter, only number of users matter, the profits do not matter.

Guess what, these companies shouldn't even exist. You are taking part in an exercise that is doomed to failure in normal markets. You are pretty much gambling your time in order to try and get a big payout at the expense of the larger economy (the inflation). Sure, it is not your fault that the Fed is creating this situation, which is part of the larger problem of huge centralised government destroying the said economy.

Ok, I can see how in that situation everybody feels cheated, because it's all gambling, it's all a lottery, it's all doomed to failure and the only winners are those, who have managed to be first, first in line for money in that game.

So why are you even complaining at all? Just start your own goddamn 'free services' company and you will have the greater fools lining up to work for you for free and a bunch of 'investors' with funny money to drop on you from helicopters.

But no, they don't want the risk of starting the company, they want to work for one what is started that way, but they want to be sure that they will get paid. You are taking a gamble, you are not producing anything in the society of any value, you are sucking the resources out of the society. Ok, you are just following the cues of the Fed and the government, but don't pretend that you have any moral ground here.

Stock (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 9 months ago | (#46551391)

A guarantee of a fixed percentage of ownership of shares of the corporation and any follow-on corporation so when it needs a bunch of cash your share doesn't get diluted to basically zero.

project management (1)

sribe (304414) | about 9 months ago | (#46551413)

A guarantee that all ship dates come from engineering, not marketing ;-)

lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 9 months ago | (#46551473)

Please. If you want to go work at a startup, you accept the risks of working at a startup. I've known plenty of people that tried to swing it at a startup and ran back to their previous jobs a month later because it didn't go as planned.

Startups are RISKY. That is the risk/reward. If you want to take low pay in return for stock, then pay a lawyer to make sure your options are worth something.

I've heard the pitches before "We will pay you half your current salary, but the risk is worth the reward!" - please - I am not a partner so there will be no big reward. Get fucked.

Want something that pays decent and you won't work 80 hours a week? Find a stable job at a firm thats been around for awhile.

Not so much (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 9 months ago | (#46551503)

On Play was a start up. A bunch of engineers signed on and took stock options for lower pay. Then the company folder, reopened with the exact same name and same owners and everyone lost their stock. And lets not forget when AOL used to give their front line phone reps stock (before they shipped it all to Malaysia) and took back all the stock when the Time-Warner merge happened. They sued and a judge told 'em to take a long walk off a short pier

Besides, with all the H1-B's stable jobs in America are getting hard to find...

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (2)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46551569)

If you are organizing your labor, you have agreed that the market pressures do not support your payscale.

Downward pressure on wages does not happen unless the market is flooded, or your skills are not in demand elsewhere.

Don't like it? Get a better skillset and go somewhere else.

As you say, Risk is part of the deal.

Note: I am facing this mentality inside my company right now. I want to move to a department with greater opportunities, greater pay/bonus structure, but risk of being fired if I don't deliver. My co-workers and management are trying to get me to stay, and one argument is the "safety" of our department.
I should probably paraphrase Franklin about security and freedom at this juncture...

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551707)

If you are organizing your labor, you have agreed that the market pressures do not support your payscale. Downward pressure on wages does not happen unless the market is flooded, or your skills are not in demand elsewhere. Don't like it? Get a better skillset and go somewhere else.

If it was really true that wages in the west coast IT sector were purely market-driven, then why would there be a collusion [reuters.com] lawsuit against the big tech firms? After all, if it is vain to think that organized labor can affect pay and conditions for workers, why would these large companies think that a 'union of employers' could affect pay and conditions?

Employment is a classic example of when the glibertarian caricature of the free market breaks down. The only significant type of labor that is actually a fully-flexible free market is unskilled hourly labor, where you don't need to know anything about the person other than that they can put boxes in the back of a truck or push a wheelbarrow of bricks. For reasons such as search costs, transaction costs and incomplete contracts almost everyone else is in employment that involves at least a degree of mutual trust in an extended relationship.

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46551813)

Interestingly, I work for one of those collusion companies.

To go work for one of the other big "pre interent" companies I would likely get hired.

Post internet? Maybe amazon, not Google, for sure. Not many start ups either, unless they wanted a "greybeard" for a reason.

They would see the culture as incomparable, and I would tend to agree. I have a very ingrained "don't risk your production environment" viewpoint, and while I can and do step past it all the time, it is definitely not as compatible with a fast moving tech start up.

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 9 months ago | (#46551735)

Yes, but why is the market flooded for a market that is stated by the companies to be short on people? If the market is flooded why do we need more H1-Bs?

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46551775)

I don't think it is flooded.

It is more likely a mismatch between skillsets if you can't find a job.

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 9 months ago | (#46551847)

Who said anything about not being able to get a job. You stated it only happens if

Downward pressure on wages does not happen unless the market is flooded, or your skills are not in demand elsewhere.

But we know that the skill set is in high demand in other places, there are cities begging for developers, so therefore the only option is that the market is flooded....

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1)

mschuyler (197441) | about 9 months ago | (#46553657)

So go elsewhere.

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 9 months ago | (#46555033)

And what does that have to do with the statement in any way....

Re:lol, yeah, overpaid techies need a union (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 9 months ago | (#46553569)

I worked a union job doing Perl, Ruby and Linux sysadmin stuff for a state university. The benefits were pretty good (overtime pay or comp time if my work week exceeded 35/hours, no layoffs on short notice ie 1 month notice for every year of employment to a max of 12 months). I was considering working for a startup, but the "owner" really wasn't giving a fair deal ('at will' employment, long hours, no relocation bonus, no telecommuting and tremendous egos). As it would have cost me a bundle to move, I asked for a contract guaranteeing at least a years worth of salary under any circumstances. When the owner (who was a multimillionaire) balked, so did I.

   

Our first demand is a Beer keg in development. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551477)

Putting a beer keg by the development cubicles water cooler. This makes for great "who's doing what" as opposed to a knowledge base not edited or read. This can also be cross departmental. It brings great minds together to make or help influence decisions on what other groups may be doing (Sales,Marketing) so a biased CEO or Department head doesn't make as many stupid decisions.

Why? Because you do not want engineers attending bars for drinks. They may meet a girl and get sidetracked.(never let them attend strip clubs....an entire dev cycle can be lost there!) you want them somewhat pissed and chained to their desk continuing to code through the evening. For those who don't drink, make sure you hire a hot girl in another Dept who does drink and flirts and have her attend "keg meetings" daily as a requirement. And don't forget to put a UPS on the keg in case a power outage, That's where everyone will be then the power goes out. This was a true story. Can anyone guess the company?

github? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552303)

github?

startups and unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551521)

Startups and unions are incompatible.
Makes as much sense as starting a fly fishing club in the Sahara.
current startup employee

all of IT needs an union (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46551531)

Workers needs rights and at least try the union way before we all end of on the welfare

Re:all of IT needs an union (3, Insightful)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46551583)

No thanks. I don't want to be passed up because you have been at the company for 1 day longer than I have, but don't know as much or have better skills than I do.

I will take risk over Union stagnation any day.

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 9 months ago | (#46551745)

So you risk being laid off because you are older then the new commer fresh out of college even though you know more and have better skills then he does...

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

es330td (964170) | about 9 months ago | (#46551833)

If a person works in an industry that changes over time in response to market needs then said individual needs to put in the time/effort to stay current or suffer the consequences. Some industries have this built in; CPA's, financial advisors and insurance agents, even doctors are required to do continuing education to ensure that they are abreast of changes in their field. Anybody in a tech field that fails to incorporate new technology into their toolbox is asking to be replaced.

Rush said it best: "Changes aren't permanent, but change is."

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 9 months ago | (#46551927)

Age bias in IT is a real thing, it does not matter how much you keep up, you can be replaced by a younger, and less knowledgeable person, just because of your age.

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 9 months ago | (#46555285)

Yes this is a direct result of what the GP was saying. Age bias exists as the old are not as valuable as the new. There are many industries where to remain a professional in that industry requires proof of continuous professional development. This almost guarantees age = experience and knowledge, and not that age = knows one thing really well.

It's about bloody time that computer professionals actually started a professional organisation, NOT a union.

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 9 months ago | (#46555859)

No.

I keep moving. At a relatively "old" age of mid 40s I have a position where no one else does what I do, and I could probably do it for as long as I like and bring a good salary.

Instead, I am leaving this comfort zone and taking on bigger and more risky opportunities... and bigger payoffs.

Either way, I stay more relevant than if I take the safer option and stay put.

Re:all of IT needs an union (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 9 months ago | (#46552025)

M&P (managerial and professional) unions dont work that way :-)

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46554241)

at least try the union way before we all end of on the welfare

That formula worked for Detroit.

Re:all of IT needs an union (2, Interesting)

dentin (2175) | about 9 months ago | (#46551603)

I will close my company before I allow a union within the ranks.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46551853)

which company is that? tell us so that we can avoid you or even boycott your ass!

sounds like you are republican, too. "cant have the workers demanding rights, now, can we".

people like you make me puke. you really do.

Re:all of IT needs an union (4, Insightful)

dentin (2175) | about 9 months ago | (#46552183)

I never said that workers didn't deserve rights. In fact, as someone who has worked part time, full time, and as a contractor, I know very well what rights employees have, and why they have them. Employee rights have nothing to do with why I will never tolerate a union presence.

Hiring is between me any my employees. I treat them well, and they do good work. If an employee and I have a problem that's not resolvable, we part ways. I don't need and won't have a third party coming in to tell me or my employees what they should be doing, who I can and can't fire, who I can and can't promote, and who can and can't quit.

Boycott if you want. If I can't have the freedom to work with who I want when I want, I'll either take my business overseas or hire independent contractors. Either way, I'll still provide the same service and people will still buy it, but I'll be paying taxes to a government that doesn't allow organized labor extortion.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552537)

It's unfortunate that large unethical companies force employees into unions that also harm the smaller companies that treat their employees well.

One of the reasons I don't care for conglomeration. It's bad for employees and small employers.

Re:all of IT needs an union (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552891)

I used to have this view. I hated unions and read all the stories about guys just standing around not doing anything. Then I went to work for a union shop and joined the local. WOW. What an eye opener that was.

It's simple. You and the employer enter into a contract. If one of you doesn't uphold their end of the contract then the breaching party is taken to task. It's that simple. When some PHB is having a bad day, he isn't going to take it out on the pee-ons because then a steward will be standing on his desk calling him to task.

You want to be able to fire someone because you dont like the color of his shirt? OK negotiate for that when the contract comes up. Everything is negotiable. But there will be a price the other party demands. But that is not what an employer wants, an employer wants to be able to fire you at will with the implicit threat of blackballing you with other employers, while of course the employee has no recourse. All the union does is level the playing field.

And yes, there are corrupt people in unions, just like there are corrupt people in business and govt. You get what you put into it.

Re:all of IT needs an union (3, Insightful)

dentin (2175) | about 9 months ago | (#46553355)

I already negotiate these kinds of things with people, without a union involved. To me, it's just the other side of the table, and I very much remember having to negotiate my long hair and keeping intellectual property intact when I was interviewing.

It's not about getting the maximum possible dollar in the short term. It's about both parties getting what they want out of it, in a way that's sustainable and lasts for the long term. IMHO the biggest problems in business aren't technology, they're people and long term planning.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553719)

And, if you're in the SV and worth anything, you can just go across the street and get another job if your PHB is an ass. No Union required. Of course, if you're not very good, you still have other options (McDonald's et al).

(Personally, however, I prefer to get those such PHB's fired as that's the right thing for the company and I wouldn't be working there if I didn't believe in the global mission of the company).

Re:all of IT needs an union (1, Insightful)

TarPitt (217247) | about 9 months ago | (#46554585)

You object to signing a contact with an entity representing your workers, and dealing with employees according to rules set out in this contract.. I suspect you wouldn't think twice about signing a similar contract with suppliers or customers.

My only conclusion is that you prefer to deal with employees individually because you can more easily manipulate them by doing so. You enjoy the power of being the owner and being able to play favorites, taking advantage of the inherent weakness in an individual's bargaining power and the lack of any enforceable written criteria governing your rule. You accept the occasional loss of an employee able to find better conditions because you know you will always find a replacement.

Of all the inputs to your business - labor, materials, facilities - only labor is to be forced to deal from a deliberately weakened perspective.

You must be a joy to work for.

Re:all of IT needs an union (2)

dentin (2175) | about 9 months ago | (#46555139)

I don't object to signing a contract with an entity that represents workers. I object to signing a contract that limits my ability to hire who I want when I want, and to fire who I want when I want. This is no different than objecting to a contract with a parts supplier that mandates that I can't buy parts from a different supplier, or objecting to a contract that requires I only use a given suppliers parts in my products. I know such contracts exist, and I know that some companies sign them willingly. My companies will not, and if necessary I am willing to pay more and/or put in extra effort to avoid such contracts.

At least with parts suppliers, you have reasonable confidence that the parts are the same, or similar enough to work. Employees however, are very much not the same: an employee is more like a custom designed factory than a part, and every single employee is going to be unique and different. Those differences matter, and they matter a lot - employees are not just skill and technical knowledge, they are also personality, temperament, life goals, and sometimes, family. Treating them as replacable cogs, as unions invariably do, does everyone a disservice.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0, Troll)

pla (258480) | about 9 months ago | (#46551765)

Workers needs rights and at least try the union way before we all end of on the welfare

Interesting perspective you have there, since unions basically turn entire industries into "welfare" for those who have no place working in them, at the expense of those who do. Unions had relevance half a century ago when the workforce consisted of 90% unskilled labor, and you could pull a lever over and over just as well as I could; that model fails miserably when dealing with skilled labor, and particularly in IT where we see literally multiple orders of magnitude differences in performance between the superstars and the barely-employable.

So no, thankyouverymuch, I would much rather get promoted on my own merits, rather than get dragged down to the mean so some waste of flesh can make the same as me (or worse, more solely because he has "seniority"). Fuck that! I bring an "A" game to the table, and get paid accordingly. Can't hack it? Don't play.

Now, as far as TFA goes - These people don't need a union, they need a clue. When you agree to work yourself to death for nothing-and-a-promise, you'd better make damned sure that you can live on nothing.

That said, nothing wrong with taking the occasional chance, after making sure you've met your basic needs. If you want to donate your spare evening and weekend time (after working a paying 9-to-5), in exchange for a startup-equity-lottery-ticket, hey, more power to ya. Just don't expect a sympathetic ear when empty promises won't pay for beer, much less your own private Caribbean island.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551861)

Interesting perspective you have there, since unions basically turn entire industries into "welfare" for those who have no place working in them, at the expense of those who do.

That's exactly what the corporate executive hierarchy has been selling.

That way, all the other workers will just deride those who do want protection and security as weak and despicable, because you've changed them into thieves.

Funny how that works.

So no, thankyouverymuch, I would much rather get promoted on my own merits, rather than get dragged down to the mean so some waste of flesh can make the same as me (or worse, more solely because he has "seniority"). Fuck that! I bring an "A" game to the table, and get paid accordingly. Can't hack it? Don't play.

And I'd rather be employed on my own merits, rather than get exploited down to the mean so some waste of flesh can make 100 times as much as me. Or worse, because he has stock options. Fuck that! I and my fellow workers are the reason the company exists and we should get paid accordingly. Can't hack it? Find out how useless you and the rest of management are.

That said, nothing wrong with taking the occasional chance, after making sure you've met your basic needs. If you want to donate your spare evening and weekend time (after working a paying 9-to-5), in exchange for a startup-equity-lottery-ticket, hey, more power to ya. Just don't expect a sympathetic ear when empty promises won't pay for beer, much less your own private Caribbean island.

Oh then you want Basic income and universal healthcare.

Good to know.

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

pla (258480) | about 9 months ago | (#46552017)

Oh then you want Basic income and universal healthcare.

Nice strawman-by-sarcasm, because actually, I do (though that has little to do with what I described).

Believe it or not, someone can legitimately consider unions as nothing but an obsolete style of extortion racket, without disagreeing with the idea that our society needs to evolve beyond the fallacy of "making a living". We've automated ourselves out of needing much unskilled labor in the modern workforce, yet somehow in the process our culture remained stuck in the mindset of a post-WWII work ethic. We automate to give ourselves more free time, not to put half of us on welfare while the other half pay for it.

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46553241)

Believe it or not, someone can legitimately consider unions as nothing but an obsolete style of extortion racket, without disagreeing with the idea that our society needs to evolve beyond the fallacy of "making a living".

Rights for all workers today, move beyond the so-called "right to work" to the "right to not be a slave" tomorrow. Either way, it's difficult to imagine the unions helping us go forward.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553377)

Nice strawman-by-sarcasm, because actually, I do (though that has little to do with what I described).

Actually, it has everything to do with it, if you pay attention. It's the crux of the issue.

Believe it or not, someone can legitimately consider unions as nothing but an obsolete style of extortion racket, without disagreeing with the idea that our society needs to evolve beyond the fallacy of "making a living".

Except for the part where you say "legitimately" and "as nothing" because that's going for an absolute ridden with hyperbole. Nothing legitimate about that. Ever.

That said, unions are a tool of pressure. It's just instead of the power being the management, it's the workers.

If this is surprising anybody, then they really need to think again.

That said, I've seen a host of libertarians decrying taxes as an extortion racket and theft, among other things, so those descriptions have lost their weight anyway.

We've automated ourselves out of needing much unskilled labor in the modern workforce, yet somehow in the process our culture remained stuck in the mindset of a post-WWII work ethic. We automate to give ourselves more free time, not to put half of us on welfare while the other half pay for it.

There's a union movement for the 20 hour work-week too.

George Jetson still complains about his 3 hours though.

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

TarPitt (217247) | about 9 months ago | (#46554779)

There's a union movement for the 20 hour work-week too.

There was a union movement for a 40 hour workweek. It was successful for a number of decades, but the 40 hour workweek seems to have gone the way of the rotary dial phone.

Might have something to do with the demise of the evil protection rackets called unions.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46555057)

There was a union movement for a 40 hour workweek.

Yeah, times have changed.

New priorties.

It was successful for a number of decades, but the 40 hour workweek seems to have gone the way of the rotary dial phone.

Might have something to do with the demise of the evil protection rackets called unions.

In the US, anyway. Who are working about 100 more hours a year than the Japanese, and even more than Europeans.

Despite not much better productivity.

Re:all of IT needs an union (2)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | about 9 months ago | (#46552145)

Oh then you want Basic income and universal healthcare.

Honestly if we had a universal minimum income then unions could become completely irrelevant. Then if your working conditions aren't acceptable, you just quit. Honestly it's a much better solution.

Especially since you'll never get someone like me to join a union...

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46554049)

Oh then you want Basic income and universal healthcare.

Honestly if we had a universal minimum income then unions could become completely irrelevant. Then if your working conditions aren't acceptable, you just quit. Honestly it's a much better solution.

And yet it's not happening, because?

Oh right, much easier to sell this sort of thing as evil governmental abuses that only feed the lazy.

Especially since you'll never get someone like me to join a union...

That's ok, as long as you pay for the benefits you receive, your effective membership isn't needed.

Re:all of IT needs an union (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | about 9 months ago | (#46555275)

And yet it's not happening, because?

Oh right, much easier to sell this sort of thing as evil governmental abuses that only feed the lazy.

Actually, no one in power is trying to "sell" Universal Minimum Income. It doesn't fit their paradigm, and gets rid of the power structure around things like Welfare, Unemployment, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.

The reason the Senate voted it down back in the 60s was an error in statistics convinced some Senators that it made the divorce rate go up.

That's ok, as long as you pay for the benefits you receive, your effective membership isn't needed.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Re:all of IT needs an union (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551891)

Workers needs rights and at least try the union way before we all end of on the welfare

Initially, my misreading of the title was: Startup Employees As an Organized Labor Camp

Look to Detroit (3, Insightful)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 9 months ago | (#46553251)

As soon as techies start making unacceptable demands on management, the companies will just pull up stakes and move elsewhere. Then wherever the unions started agitating will end up like post-apocalyptic Detroit.

http://youtu.be/eUY8NJAly1I [youtu.be]

Bunch of pussies (3, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 9 months ago | (#46551651)

If you're not comfortable with taking on risk, busting your ass, and doing anything it takes for a very small CHANCE at hitting it big -- then don't work for a startup. Period. There are many other software / IT jobs right now -- no need at all to work in startup land. But don't try to fuck it up with this "union" nonsense talk. All you'll accomplish is dragging down those who are truly talented and deserve to be there.

If you do go that route -- get educated. Pay a lawyer a few hundred bucks to explain the docs you are about to sign which grant options, have a vesting schedule, etc. If you don't, you're a retard and you deserve to be taken advantage of. But this "unionization" talk runs completely counter to the very DNA of a startup. Face it -- some people are willing to work 80+ hrs / week. If you're not -- fine. But don't fuck it up for those who *choose* to do so and try to out-work others to gain an advantage.

Re:Bunch of pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46553375)

You complete retard.

This is what happens. Joe Average takes the risk and goes to start for a privately owned startup. It doesn't matter what the terms are, vesting schedules etc, they can and will be changed by the majority owner at any time to suit their purpose. It is a complete crapshoot whether the buyout results in cash, stock options in the parent company with a new vesting schedule that could be underwater before being worth anything, or being thrown away completely.

Good luck trying to get any company to sign any agreement that gives you any security in the idea that your 80 hour week means anything come closing day. That prviviledge is reservered for C-level asshats.

Re:Bunch of pussies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46555471)

If you're not comfortable with taking on risk, busting your ass, and doing anything it takes for a very small CHANCE at hitting it big -- then don't work for a startup.

The pussies from TFA are perfectly OK with risk. What they don't know is

a) What % of the company is represented by my shares?
b) Under what circumstances can those shares be taken or devalued?

The pussies are 100% OK with the risk that nobody values there company at $8.6 bajillion dollars. What they are NOT OK with is being told there are 100,000 shares outstanding and finding out in writting that there are 1,000,000 shares outstanding making their stake worth ten times less.

Got it? Didn't think so....

Would you like some cheese with your whine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551675)

A whole lot of complains from a whole lot of complainers. IMHO

If the start-up preformed well, these whiners would be claiming to be geniuses and self-made persons.
If the start-up didn't perform well, these whiners claim that it someone else's fault.

I have found this typical of "blue" state persons. Success is owed to them; failure is someone else cheating them.

These employees failed to do what anyone is encouraged to do before taking any job--research, research, research. The job, the company, the industry, the board members and management staff, the VCs, the location, etc., etc. The greatest failing of these folk in the IT industry is forgetting that "Google is your friend".

more communication would help, but it may not be h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551723)

As a founder, I wish I could give these things to myself.
I wish I could make sure my shares existed after I leave the company.
I wish I could ensure a VC isn't going to insist on unreasonable terms.
I wish I knew the future and could tell my employees these things.

Sometimes shitty deals happen. I am continually worried that money is going to dry up or people I need are going to leave. I make less salary than all of my employees (and the investors want me to be thrilled that I get any). It's not that I'm wealthy, it's that I'm supposed to suffer the most to show how serious I am, or something like that. Should I put more of the stress of the business on my employees? Dilution is not something I'm "doing to" my employees. The alternative is often to fire everyone and close down the company.

My advise to anyone looking to join a startup is to only work with people you really trust. You may still end up getting diluted down to nothing, but if you're capable of dealing with it, you should work with people willing to tell you why that's happening. If you're in it for the equity, you want to work with someone who is as close to a peer as possible. If the CEO or CTO is already wealthy, have their own lawyers or have their own holding firms involved in the company, if they sound more like investors than engineers, those are red flags for maintaining your equity. On the other hand, if you want a job that lasts more than 6 months, those same qualities indicate stability and resources to weather downtimes. For some people, that's more important than preventing dilution. You're simply not going to get everything, that doesn't exist.

Bananas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46551733)

You can't expect someone to be productive with low levels of potassium. Sure I'll work 20 hours a day. Yes, you can keep me awake with an IV of Mountain Dew, Monster Energy, and Coffee, but only if I have have a ready supply of bananas.

Re:Bananas (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 9 months ago | (#46552605)

heck why not go whole hog and have a decent snack vendor (do apples , melons, grapes cheese and jerky ect ).

bonus points if the folks pushing the cart are "hot"

Not a union, just legal clarity (3, Interesting)

kimanaw (795600) | about 9 months ago | (#46551785)

I don't think the group was advocating for unionization, rather, just a better education for employees. (I actually watched an interview with the gentleman on Bloomberg that was pretty enlightening, despite some snarky comments from the hosts)

As a multi-startup veteran (without much to show for it but a few scars), the biggest issue is how opaque ownership percentages are. The current SillyCon Valley game is to give 5-6 digit option grants - so it seems like you're getting a lot - when there are 10-12 figure shares outstanding - and it can be impossible to find out that last figure.

Another complaint is the legalese of grants, which is usually waaay over the top, so you end up spending a lot on lawyers to translate the terms. The grants should be in "plain English" - most of the terms are pretty simple, once you clear away the legalese.

And another big deal is the little things that you might overlook, e.g., is there an acceleration clause if the startup gets bought out (very possible in this age of acquihires), or what happens if the startup actually IPOs: can you sell on the open market, or only back to the investors (which can limit your profit) ?

Also, on the topic of acquihires, if your startup gets bought out and you're a key employee, then your options may not mean anything, cuz you can -and should! - negotiate whatever you can get when the deal goes down. So it may be better to position yourself as a key contributor, than to get hung up about options.

Wishlist (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46551865)

Stay out of my face with rules and union organizers. On the other hand, put together a checklist of contracting 'gotchas'. Both for the employee as well as the management. What should or should not be in the contract. How to provide compensation in equity shares or the possibility of the outfit going out of business.

There are some good questions raised in TFA.

Zaharias and Russell had few answers, except ask your employer until you understand, and then ask again every time something changes at the company,

No, because your employer and you have somewhat of an adversarial relationship. Don't expect straight answers from someone who is looking to dilute your shares or buy them back for pennies just before the IPO. All that stuff needs to be in an employment contract before the first day on the job. And what's this about "few good answers"? I'm expecting someone to defend my rights when they don't know the game?

New Verticle from Y Combinator: Techie Labor Camp (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 9 months ago | (#46552105)

Are you a recent college grad or seasoned tech worker looking to make mega-bucks working for the NEXT BIG STARTUP? Then send your Github and LinkedIn profiles to http://laborcamp.ycombinator.com. Each year we will select 1,000 of the best and brightest applicants to live and work 24/7 under armed guard for 90 days at our Redwood City coding for our incubator startups in exchange for a few shares of stock!

LET ME WORK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552251)

Why did you hire me if you don't think I'm competent enough to know my job, and do it?

If you want to micromanage everything, fine, just do the work yourself and let me play video games all day. I'll be happy to sign off on your incompetent crap as long as I get my check.

Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46552499)

Unions are desperate for new members.

Perhaps they should organize some personal respons (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#46553029)

responsibility for their actions.

I just quit from the 3rd startup I've worked for, because it was a shitty place to work.

So can you, and you don't need anyones help to do so.

If a startup is a shitty work environment ... guess what ... THATS NEVER GOING TO CHANGE.

Its in no way unique to techies in silicon valley, but its not surprising they have their heads so far up their asses as to think they need to start a social movement to 'fix the problem' of them being shitty employes that can't get jobs anywhere other than less than ideal businesses that expect them to work hard for the paycheck.

It doesn't magically go away, the company is going to stay that way for a while and you need to either be able to accept it, or find a new job, but thats not what you want. You want to tell your boss how you work and what he pays you, and thats simply not going to happen.

You want to become unemployed in a hurry, make it so your current working conditions are illegal and you'll suddenly find yourself unemployed. Why can I say this? Because you aren't fucking slave and you can go work elsewhere. Unqualified douches working at a sweatshop startup are whining because they don't work at Google as seen in the movie.

Guess what, theres a reason you're at the startup and not Google and it has nothing to do with the startup or google. You're not as great as you think you are, your job probably isn't half as shitty as your whining about and its probably better than any job you ever would have gotten had you been born 30 years earlier.

In short, shut the fuck up and DO SOMETHING rather than fucking whining about your lot in life, you're in fucking America you douche, you don't have a god damn think to whine about. (Blanket statements don't apply to everyone, but if you're whining about it on slashdot, you obviously aren't working that hard so you've just shown yourself to be full of shit)

Treat Uncompensated Time as Explicit Loan (1)

laughingskeptic (1004414) | about 9 months ago | (#46553637)

I have been down the startup road a few times in my career. Most of the time, things don't go as planned and the people who make out the best at the end of the game are the debtors of the company. They get paid first. So try and make sure you are on that list. The promises behind stock options are great, but most of the time you are better off being explicitly owed.

Heads up! (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 9 months ago | (#46554233)

I used to tell people working for a startup was the best experience they will ever have. My first two were great. However, I've been burnt twice too. After dedicating every waking hour to a startup only to see it get sold and not getting anything but the salary while you've worked there is bullshit. The only thing I can say about being a startup employee now days is, "Get in writing that you are a partner". If they say no, walk away. Don't ever believe someone will give you a fair share out of the goodness of their heart. Those people have moved on to owning basketball teams or starting new companies with really stupid names so all they do all day is golf.

FOSS Options Agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46556935)

I think one possible great outcome could be the creation of an open-source stock options agreement that was fair and clear. It could be massively peer-reviewed by execs, worker-bees, and lawyers alike, and have layman-friendly explanations of its terms hosted alongside it.

This would be great for employees because it would reduce ambiguity, and reduce the need for hiring attorneys to review such documents. It shouldn't change much for an employer with good motives. And it should make it a lot easier to know when a stock options agreement warrants extra-careful review because they avoided the FOSS version.

How great would it be if, when you inquired about stock options, the company said: "Yep, we use the standard AnonymousCoward agreement, configured with a 25% cliff, and 1% per month thereafter vesting."

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