Despite having experience living in a major US city, I found quite a few surprises coming here.
There's people currently downloading data into Excel, running a few macros they know nothing about, and then reuploading the CSVs. You figure out what the data flow is, read up the API doc, and build some kind of process that does it in 5 minutes in bash on a medium instance on AWS, whilst fixing the errors the macros were making.
Will it be an easy sell? You were expressedly brought in to do this, but you'll find that the manager in charge of the people - let's call him the CXO - is going to fight every inch of the way to stop you from launching your product.
He'll blame you for creating a "toxic" work environment. He'll bog you down in endless 2h long lunchtime meetings unrelated to the main point in an attempt to make you lose your professionalism in front of external stakeholders.
He'll list missing new features then put them through the audit process.
Eventually, once a few months have been wasted, he'll point at your lack of progress as a sign of your incompetence, even though the working version was ready to be rolled out months ago. Nobody will question him because the company is profitable and it doesn't really matter how the process is done, just that it gets done.
So, you leave the project, pocketing your pay - which they will pay on time so you don't make a fuss - and things continue as before for the CXO and his team, perhaps even gaining approval for a further 50 in headcount to develop the new features or to compensate for the expensive SQL and scripting training MS stack, of course that he's sending his entire team to in batches, whilst you'll have made a bad impression on that company's management and be burnt out of their network.
The CXO benefits outside the company as well, as he can now say he managed XYZ employees which is how people automatically gauge someone's success.
This enables a succession of ever greater responsibility positions or entry to Harvard Business School, who actually asks you "how many reports did you have". It's a winner takes all, so you just need to pour in enough millions and you'll reap the billions in fact this is also the very structure of a VC's portfolio, investing in 10 different ways of doing the same thing in the hope one wins, even if it means the others all die.
So some founders may be doubly incentivized: And this is where both WhatsApp and Instagram did things differently: Pointing at lack of revenue is not particularly useful - I would say even a red herring - when even SaaS companies go years without showing profitability and with enormous fund raises for growth just look at the analytics space for recent examples.
The hedge fund space - which is almost by definition results driven - has already caught on - Bridgewater type funds with a thousand employees are the exception rather than the rule and seeing AUM over a billion USD per head is more common than "unicorn" startups.Are you looking for education startups that were founded in the U.S.A and want to learn more about their business models?
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