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In HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” a self-effacing character named Big Head compliments his friend’s coding skills by saying, “Richard’s a 10xer.I’m, like, barely an xer.”Computer programmers with agents: Bradley was interested.
Scopely, a mobile-game publishing company, rewards a new hire—or anyone who can deliver one—with eleven thousand dollars wrapped in bacon, an oil portrait of himself, and a harpoon gun. You’ve just 1,000x-ed the revenue for your company.” In Silicon Valley, the average engineer’s salary is around a hundred and thirty thousand dollars a year, according to a recent analysis by the Brookings Institution—cheap, when compared with the potential profits. In creative industries, he told me, “there’s always this pattern that the creatives start out at the bottom of the food chain and are exploited.” In the early years of recorded music, label owners persuaded blues and R. musicians to sign away their master recordings or publishing rights for paltry sums.
All this may seem ludicrous, but, given how much money is sloshing around in the system, some people argue that the best technologists could be getting even more from their employers. Apple makes more than two million dollars in revenue per employee each year. (In 1959, Richard Berry sold his rights to “Louie Louie” for seven hundred and fifty dollars.) In Hollywood, film studios like M-G-M and Twentieth Century Fox signed actors to multiyear contracts that paid them a fixed salary, even if the actor became a star.
Google makes almost sixty billion dollars in revenue annually. So they get people’s dry cleaning, which costs them a couple of thousand dollars a year,” Mc Kinnon said. In a blog post on 10x’s Web site, Solomon cites Shirley Temple, who was locked into a low-paying contract with Twentieth Century Fox, even as her films made millions for the studio.
His office was decorated with guitars, gold and platinum records, and posters signed by Green Day and Bruce Springsteen.
Bradley asked about 10x’s talent pool: did it really include “the top developers in the world,” as Solomon claimed?
Startups don’t have the money to compete with the giants.
They can offer equity, but, Bradley said, “the market’s flooded with startups trying to do the same thing.” Plus, the most desirable developers—those with creative skills—often have entrepreneurial ideas of their own.Bradley is not a stereotypical startup founder, a hoodie-wearing college dropout; he’s been working in tech and media for decades.To launch Author Bee, he raised three-quarters of a million dollars from angel investors and hired programmers in Pakistan and Bangladesh to build a prototype.Solomon dropped technological achievements the way one might talk about album sales or duets with Lady Gaga. Django is a framework that was used to build Instagram.He said that one of his clients had overseen user-experience design for Apple’s i Cloud. “The guy who co-created Django is a client.”Bradley was impressed.“What’s your stack?Solomon thought that he might be interested in Author Bee’s use of Twitter. (Offshore developers charge as little as twenty-five dollars an hour.) But Bradley decided the upgrade was worth it. So-called coding “boot camps,” such as General Assembly, founded in 2010, are trying to fill the gap, teaching crash courses in how to design Web sites and write code. Facebook recently announced that it would pay for its female employees to freeze their eggs.