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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reading Corporate History Via Subversion

I recently acquired a new wage slave job. I performed an interesting exercise that you always should perform when you get a new wage slave software engineer job.

You should go through the subversion history, and see how many contributions were made by people who no longer work there. It's very educational!

In my current job, the two people who wrote the vast majority of the code no longer work there. That's a really bad sign for a small startup.

On the other hand, it's been a decent job so far. They're paying me a decent base salary. They did offer me options, but I suspect it's for a negligible slice of the company. I asked them "How many shares are outstanding?" and "What's the valuation?", but they never got back to me. I didn't press the issue. I'll ask later.

I found another interesting observation while googling. Apparently, one of the cofounders already quit. That's another bad sign.

That's one downside of accepting VC. The venture capitalist usually requires the founders to accept vesting of their own shares. If a founder is then forced to quit, he then has zero ownership of a business he started.

Their software has a lot of flaws, but it seems to be good enough for what they need. It's possible/likely that they could have good software and a good site, yet never get enough users and advertising revenue to achieve profitability.

The base salary is decent and my direct coworkers are reasonable. It's not a super-awesome job, but it's a "good enough for now" job. If things last here awhile, I'll be able to get my own apartment and start working towards recovering my interpersonal freedom. I really need to start my own agorist businesses, if I want great working conditions.

1 comment:

Bas said...

I didn't realize until I read the post you were talking about software subversion history, not psychological subversion.

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