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As much as I understand the developers point of view on this, it is different as an entrepreneur. For a startup it is vital to not have half of your companys knowledge walk out the door. This article just says that there are valid reasons why job hoppers can be good employees. Mark Suster doesn't say that you should never change your job, nor does he deny young people to have some more tries for orienatation.



In a knowledge worker economy the workers own the means of production. In effect, the factory walks out the door when they do. The only way to prevent it is to make sure the knowledge is shared very well among all workers, no one person is a gatekeeper, code is well maintained and high quality, and firing anyone who purposefully tries to "own" the knowledge before they can own it. That's the only way I've found to make sure the factory stays at your company.

It also means that you have to now treat programmers as the "talent" and not the "workers". Think movie star not factory worker and you'll do a lot better. It may seem retarded, but if you want smart creative people to work for you then treat them like smart creative people. Not like a rivet puncher at a factory.


This can't be emphasized enough. It's not enough that you have some technical wizard who is making everything happen at your startup. You have to make sure that the magic becomes a permanent asset, or you are going to get knocked back to the starting line when mr wizard leaves or when it's time to grow the team.

How to do this depends on the particular kind of work being done, but generally speaking you want maintainable code with lots of tests, and records of the valuable knowledge gained in the process.

It's not easy to get this out of most developers, particularly if you are not a developer yourself. If you ignore it, chances are very good it's not being done at all.


I agree that you don't want half of your company's knowledge to walk out the door. My point was that finding people that are blindly loyal (something you're very unlikely to do) isn't the solution. The solution is to engender an environment that earns loyalty and respect from your employees.

Also, I was really arguing against Mark using it as a filter for ruling out resumes. I just don't think it works in either the positive or negative case. As with most everything in life the answer is more nuanced. If you rule out an entire category of potential employees, you're just limiting yourself.


Most who are fairly paid, valued and treated as human beings won't "walk out". If they like the area and have friends and family close by and they are respected by the company, they will stay.

Disrespect them (low pay, no pay raises, no down time, 80 hour weeks all the time, uncertain/unstable company, etc) and they will leave.


>For a startup it is vital to not have half of your companys knowledge walk out the door.

This strikes me as putting the onus on the company to ensure that knowledge isn't monopolized (as a previous commentor suggests) and, perhaps more importantly, to ensure retention of key people.

One way is to provide ownership, perhaps in the case of a startup, literally, of the company and its outcome.

In effect, this is the difference between another (likely unequal share) co-founder and merely an employee. Even if such a co-founder moves on, there's a strong enough incentive not just to "walk out" and leave the company without access to that knowledge.




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