Hiring is obsolete.

Paul Graham suggests that hiring is obsolete:

Most CS undergrads hope to get a good job when they graduate. But as the age of startup founders creeps downward, I foresee an alternative path for the most ambitious: instead of going to work for Microsoft, start a startup and make Microsoft buy it to get you.

This change will do more than make some young hackers richer. It will fuse recruitment with product development. Instead of applying for a job and then being told what to work on, you join the company as a complete development team, with a beta version. Results: (a) a shift in power from companies to hackers, and (b) an increase in the rate at which new technology gets developed.

Obviously this new model will be a better deal for the best hackers. But I think it will also be better for the Microsofts. The few tens of millions extra that they’ll pay will be a bargain for what they’ll get.

The buyer would get a person who has proven ability to produce – and they get a product as well. This could drastically improve quality of hire, the current key hiring metric.

This would necessitate a change in the recruiting function though. Recruiters would have to become skilled in assessing the value of technology and products, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Hiring companies could even provide some seed funding for people they foresaw as valuable.

Smart companies would create communities of support for these type of people, and provide them highly discounted (or free) software environments, and access to APIs and key product information. These communities would provide the ability to collaborate with key software people on the hiring company’s side, as well as best practices or the company.

This would help the hackers, as Paul calls them, to build products using architectures and tools that will easily integrate into the target hiring company’s environment.

The only problem I can envision would be one of cultural fit, which is also something that the recruiters would need to work on.

(Link from Evhead)

One thought on “Hiring is obsolete.

  1. Paul’s talk is still a few days away (May 2). He tends to posts the full text of his talks to his website (http://paulgraham.com) a day or two after he gives them.

    He’s also giving a talk on May 4th at PARC entitled, How to Sell a Startup:

    “Most people who start startups do it to get rich, and the most common way to get rich from a startup is to sell it. Investors call this an ‘exit strategy,’ and they won’t even consider a company that doesn’t have a fairly clear one. In this case the founders and investors’ interests are aligned: you should be thinking about exit strategies before you even start a company. In this talk I’ll describe the kinds of ideas that yield buyable startups, the different stages at which you can sell a startup, and what you should do (and not do) to make it happen at each stage.”

    I’m looking forward to some good blogging material next week.

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